Volvo chief executive Hakan Samuelsson is expecting demand for the carmaker’s sales in the United States to pickup in March and April following a poor start in the first two months of the year. He is also expecting US sales to surge 5 percent for full year 2014. Volvo posted a 20-percent drop in US sales in January and February to 7,783 units.
Samuelsson told Automotive News in a interview at the Geneva auto show that US sales will pick up as it starts offering the new V60 sport wagon and a new generation of four-cylinder engines next month. "It will be a tough year and a year of turnaround" for the US, he said. "But we have a new team, strategies and tactics in place."
He expects US sales to grow to 65,000 units this year, up from 61,233 in 2013. He, however, remarked that sales will not surge substantially until it launched the redesigned XC90 crossover in the US in early 2015. The XC90 will feature Volvo's new Drive E family of four-cylinder engines, including a 400-hp plug-in hybrid.
Samuelsson disclosed before Volvo would enter new segments, it will first replace all of its existing vehicles like the S80 mid-sized sedan, S60 compact sedan, XC60 compact crossover and C70 wagon.
The replacement will be underpinned by Volvo's new scalable architecture for mid- and large-sized vehicles, a process that will take a couple of years, according to Samuelsson. "There is the appetite for this, but it is important that you manage complexity," Samuelsson remarked. "We will be very careful not to over-utilize the technical means that the modularity offers." [source: automotive news - sub. required]