Automakers generally have set product lifecycles. BMW’s is seven years. Toyota’s is often six. Some are longer, and some are shorter.
The Volvo XC90 has lingered for 10 years, though, which makes it among the oldest vehicle designs on sale today. In 2004, the Volvo XC90 was the automaker’s first attempt at a large crossover, following the success of the Volvo XC70. In its first year, Volvo sold 84,032 XC90s worldwide. Last year, it sold 31,290.
“What we have learned about the XC90 is that you have to be very careful when delaying product development, you are borrowing money from the future and you have to pay it back with interest,” Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said in an interview with Automotive News. “It was not very smart to delay that program.”
Since then, other luxury crossovers have become more popular like the BMW X5, Acura MDX, and Buick Enclave. The Volvo XC90 has been left to dry on the vine amid the company being sold by Ford to China’s Geely, a focus on smaller vehicles like the S60, and a downturn in the economy.
Expected in early 2015 is the second-generation XC90, which will herald a new platform from which most Volvos will be based and will be powered exclusively with four-cylinder engines. That will likely help pick up some slack in the Volvo lineup, especially with a few older products expected to stay a while longer.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)