Volvo, one of the world’s foremost automotive manufacturers, introduced two new small concept cars today, signalling the Swedish company’s venturesome leap into the international small-car market.
The introduction of the 40 series concept models shows Volvo’s clear intention to enter the vast and profitable international premium small car market. The concept cars represent Volvo’s strategic marketing of a range of small cars featuring striking external and internal design, leading-edge technological and connectivity features, and autonomous driving systems.
These concept cars are the prototypes for future production cars under Volvo’s newly created Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) where their engineers and designers are free to conceptualise new small car designs and technologies.
Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo Car Group Senior Vice President of Design, said that the car lines in their vehicle stable all have unique traits “like the members of a real family.” The CMA has been a way for Volvo to create concept cars with a fresher and more individual vibe going forward. With more dynamic, innovative and cosmopolitan qualities, the new small car will still seem exclusive next to its competitors.
The Swedish car producer’s entry into the small car market is a major part of their new international operations strategy and commercial overhaul. Volvo is aiming for a renaissance with a determined four-year plan to go head-to-head with its international premium manufacturer rivals.
Volvo’s upcoming small car lines for the international market will also feature models with green technology including pure-electric and Twin Engine hybrid powertrain vehicles. This is the company’s way of reinforcing their plan to eventually produce only vehicles with green technology. Volvo projects to internationally sell close to a million electrified vehicles by 2025.
Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President for Research & Development says that Volvo’s modular methodology in vehicle and powertrain design, development and construction has enabled them to step ahead of their contemporary premium car manufacturers. He said that the new battery electric powertrain variant unwraps “yet another exciting chapter in the unfolding Volvo story.”
In addition to their more adventurous styles and green tech options, the new vehicles will feature a complete set of the latest connectivity services and the most high tech safety features. The interior will also have an all-new Swedish style.
Volvo Cars President and Chief Executive Håkan Samuelsson said that the new 40 series cars carry the potential to extend its reach in the market of this rising segment. Their electric powertrain development is a primary part of their CMA program. It consists of both a pure-electric variant and a compact Twin Engine plug-in hybrid. Samuelsson adds that the 40 series cars are scheduled to start assembly in 2017.
Volvo’s revelation of their global small-car strategy immediately followed their report for strong sales and profits for the first part of the year.
The company shares that its first quarter returns for 2016 was at SEK41.7bn, a 24 percent year-over-year increase, which resulted in a SEK3.1bn operating profit or a 7.5 percent operating profit margin. Worldwide sales for the first three months of 2016 rose 11.9 percent to 120,591 units. Volvo’s objective for the medium-term is to increase annual sales from 503,000 in 2015 to 800,000.