Report: Volvo to…erm…focus on the Ford Focus with competitive new compact models

Some new baby Volvos are in the works to as the Swedish automaker continues to revitalize its entire lineup.

So far, we’ve seen the arrival of the new XC90 and the next model due for a replacement would be the second-oldest in existence, the S80. But regardless of the new and current models, it’s important to point out that Volvo currently offers very little when it comes to the compact and entry-level segments. This especially apparent since the S40 and C30 were retired from US lineup, and the current V40 isn’t available here.

That said, sitting out on such an important market isn’t a viable situation for any automaker, which is why¬†AutoCar in the UK reports Volvo is working on a new line of compact cars. It’s main target–the current Ford Focus.

It may seem a little ironic that Volvo’s going after a major player in the segment, produced by its former corporate parent, Ford Motor Company, but the Focus has been one of the benchmarks for the compact market. That said, it’s an ideal target.

Kicking off these efforts is a new operation called the China Euro Vehicle Technology campaign, which is a part of Volvo’s new compact car initiative in collaboration with their new Chinese corporate parent, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. The idea is to create an entire new firm dedicated to researching and developing a whole vehicle from start to finish, including the development of its chassis, powertrain and drivetrain.

The program’s intended to give birth to new compact models, such as the next-generation V40 (that’s also rumored to be US-bound) and Volvo’s new compact crossover, dubbed the XC40. It’s also intended to further streamline product operations and the advancement automobile production as Volvo seeks to make all the components of the car in a “scalable” and modular fashion, where parts are cross-compatible with different models. The plan is also to make the cars more flexible¬†to adjustments to allow engineers to tweak the car’s handling, ride, suspension, and performance to varying degrees, according to the model.

Either way, Geely didn’t specify which models will be birthed from these new efforts, but that whatever comes from the program is at least two years away from production. Currently, the Volvo V40 rides on Ford’s old EUCD platform and given the change in ownership as well as the expiration of engineering contracts, Volvo plans to build their own platforms from the ground up.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: AutoCar


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