Volvo V60 to be sold in the US, V40 might be next

Article by Anita Panait, on August 27, 2013

After over a year of pressuring Volvo Cars' executives in Sweden to reverse a decision not to offer the Volvo V60 in the United States, the carmaker's American sales unit finally got its wish. The Volvo V60 will come to the US starting January 2014. But Volvo Cars of North America won't stop at V60, and will also push for the smaller V40 five-door.

Tassos Panas, head of marketing and product development at Volvo Cars of North America, remarked that he will spend 2014 lobbying for the V40 too.  He remarked that the V40 "is a great small vehicle," and they would love to have it offered in the US. He added that although the V40 is not currently in their plan, it would not stop him from making it a reality.

Panas, however, has to deal with one significant problem -- the V40, which went on sale in Europe in 2012, is not approved in the US. The V40 replaced the V50 station wagon and S40 sedan in Volvo's lineup for Europe, targeting the BMW 1 series and the Audi A3.

The V40 is currently underpinned by a Ford platform, it is expected that the next generation that will be due in four to five years, will be based on a modular compact platform being jointly developed with Volvo's Chinese parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.

In Europe, 14 per cent of all traffic fatalities are pedestrians. In China, it's over 25 per cent. Because of this, vehicle manufacturers are finding ways to reduce the risks of fatal traffic accidents for both the driver and the pedestrian.

Volvo's reputation for safety leadership is outstanding, and even after many years, it has not been overlooked. Now, a new innovation, the Pedestrian Airbag Technology, is integrated in the all-new Volvo V40. This joins a previous Volvo world-first technology, the Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake—a breakthrough that was first shown in the Volvo S60. Together, they ensure that the V40 offers unrivalled protection for pedestrians, and of course, for the car's occupants.

The new Pedestrian Airbag, which makes its world debut on the Volvo V40, inflates from under the rear edge of the bonnet when the car detects that it has hit a pedestrian. The raised bonnet better cushions the unfortunate pedestrian, as it protects the pedestrian's head from the "hard points" at the base of the windscreen and the lower A-pillars.

The all-new Volvo V40 is a sporty five-door hatchback that sets new ride handling, fuel efficiency and safety standards in its class. Its eye-catching coupé design, which uses styling cues from the C30 coupé and classic P1800ES Volvo, is sportier and sleeker than the other vehicles in its class norm.

Special attention has been given to handling, steering feel, agility and ride comfort. Volvo engineers believe that the Volvo V40 is now the class benchmark for dynamic fineness.

In addition, City Safety, an innovation first shown on the Volvo XC60 to avoid noise-to-tail urban accidents, has been further improved for the Volvo V40. It now works at up to 50 km/h (31 mph), instead of 30 km/h (19 mph). Insurance claims involving the Volvo XC60 show that City Safety has reduced personal injury claims by 51 percent, while vehicle repair costs have been lowered by more than 20 percent. Little wonder that many insurers now reduce premiums for Volvo drivers.

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