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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Volvo boss eyes more SUVs both small and large

With its XC range of crossovers/SUVs currently consisting out of the XC40, XC60 and XC90, Volvo has announced that it is planning on introducing more variants both at the lower and top-ends of its product portfolio.

In January, the Chinese owned Swedish automaker’s European boss, Lex Kerssemakersstated, confirmed to Britain’s Autocar that the V40, which still comes underpinned by the Ford C1 platform, will be phased out in favour of a different model, rumoured to be called the XC20, as an entry-point below the XC40 (main).

“We probably need another bodystyle in the next two to three years in the 40 series. We need to do something more creative, which is why we decided not to replace the V40 [directly]. We can’t wait too long to introduce the new car. We don’t want to lose our space in the segment,” Kerssemakersstated told the publication.

Now in an interview with Auto Express, Volvo President and CEO, Håkan Samuelsson, stated that Gothenburg has found itself in the position where it can start to expand capacity and introduce new models, with production of smaller models coming as a result of parent company, Geely, obtaining a 50% stake in Mercedes-Benz founded Smart.

“Our strategy has been growth, but not through adding pure volumes. We have been going in hard and being better in segments where we have a really strong offering. But we are not excluding the idea of additions, especially in very core segments, like the SUV. I think we are looking into this possibility now,” Samuelsson told the British publication.

“You should not exclude the idea that there might be a bigger one, but maybe also a smaller one. There’s a trend now that premiumness is more and more decoupled from size. Small cars can also be premium. Just because you have a small suit, it doesn’t have to be polyester. We will surprise you about that in the future”.

According to previous reports and indeed that of Auto Express, the ‘XC20’ could make use of the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform currently underpinning the XC40, Polestar 2 and all the models of Geely’s Link & Co division, though it remains to be seen whether the model will indeed carry said moniker as Volvo reportedly not only has trademark ownership of it, but also XC10, XC30 and XC50.

At the other end of the segment, the current Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) that underpins the 60 and 90 range of models could be replaced by the all-new SPA2 due out in 2022, which looks set to result in a new flagship SUV called the XC100.

While nothing has as yet been confirmed officially, the publication reports that the SPA2 can accommodate vehicles measuring up to 5.5 metres long, and that the XC100 has already been codenamed, V616, with added ability of seven seats and being some 30 cm longer than the XC90 (above).

The anticipated timing of the XC100 comes as little surprise after Auto Express reported in July last year that the fourth generation XC90 will debuted in 2021 or 2022, underpinned by the SPA2 and powered by a range of petrol/electric engines is per the switch to electrification and eschewing of diesel engines made by  Samuelsson the previous year.

“From today’s point of view, we will not develop a new generation [of] diesel engines. It has to be acknowledged that Tesla has managed to offer [an electric car] that people line up for. There should also be space in the area for us, with high quality and attractive design,” Samuelsson told Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung at the time.

Expect more details to emerge in the coming months.

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