Volvo, in a joint venture with its now-parent Chinese manufacturer Geely Auto, has developed an all-new vehicle platform for a compact SUV. This has given the automaker the green light to move forward with its XC40, designed to rival the Range Rover Evoque. This new platform is also set to underpin smaller models in Volvo’s lineup, acting as an alternative to Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture platform.
Geely Group told Autocar that it believes the new platform will “help achieve synergies through economies of scale and scope in terms of development, testing, and procurement, without the slightest compromise on brand value.”
Volvo understands that new architectures must be sustainable as they help to reduce costs. A Volvo spokesperson also told Autocar that, “if you stretch an architecture too much you have to compromise–we don’t want to do that. To stretch the SPA platform down to the C-Segment would mean too many compromises.”
Along with the introduction of a new platform to be used alongside the automaker’s Scalable Product Architecture program, Volvo plans to raise prices on its vehicles in the U.S. market. The first vehicle in the lineup to receive an updated price tag will be the redesigned 2015 Volvo XC90. Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson said in a recent interview that he thinks “the company has no future if we are targeting mass market products. The new vehicles will be more expensive, but only if they deliver something the customer finds attractive.”
Exterior and interior design elements need to be improved if the brand expects to compete with other luxury European automakers. Al though the brand is viewed as safe and environmentally friendly, it doesn’t offer the specific elements that would warrant a higher price tag. With the recent unveiling of the Concept Coupe, the new styling cues will help to propel the brand forward in the U.S. market, potentially pushing the brand into more direct competition with other luxury automakers, as well as help the company reach its goal of 100,000 sales by 2020 or sooner.