- Jan 9, 2008
Rumormill: Volvo rethinking, shifting focus to wagons
Volvo has been trying its darnedest to reinvent itself, but the Swedish automaker is finding it can't escape its own image. Rather than trying to fight it, then, emerging reports suggest that the company will go with the flow while refocusing its model line-up to include more wagons, which already account for some two thirds of its languishing sales.
Among the new models Volvo is reportedly preparing is the V30, a sport-wagon aimed at the Audi A3. Expected to be a little taller and longer than the A3 Sportback, the V30 could incorporate the kind of flexible seating layouts we've seen in minivans, but in a smaller, more upscale package. Based on the European Focus platform, the V30 would slot in above the C30 sport-hatch to where the S40 and V50 fit currently. Those models, meanwhile, would grow slightly larger to take on the likes of the BMW 3-Series, but smaller than Volvo's own next-gen S60 and V70. An XC30 off-road version would likely also fall into the mix, with all-wheel-drive, higher road clearance and more rugged body-cladding.
Gothenburg (home to Volvo's headquarters, not Batman's Swedish cousin) is also tipped to be considering replacing the flagship S80 sedan with a new range-topping V100 wagon, as well as a Smart-style city-car and electric powertrain packages. One way or another, Volvo needs to find its niche and run with it, or it could find itself up for sale like its erstwhile Ford Europe/PAG sister companies Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover.