Eight of Volvo’s nine-model range will undergo significant updates within the next 12 months, new company boss Hakan Samuelsson told Autocar at the Detroit motor show.
The updates will be followed by the all-new XC90 replacement, which goes on sale in late 2014. The new XC90 will be the first model built on Volvo’s new ‘Scaleable Platform Architecture’, which will underpin all future models from the S60 upwards.
The current 60- and 70-series cars will get external makeovers this year and new engines will also be fitted into most of Volvo’s models.
The product blitz comes in the wake of falling sales in 2012, which saw the Swedish brand shift 421,951 cars, down six per cent on 2011. Samuelsson told Autocar the fall was almost entirely caused by the weakness of the European market, where Volvo kept its share, but in a declining market.
Volvo is also preparing to go it alone in replacing the smaller 40- and 50-series models, Samuelsson revealed. Having looked at trying to find a partner to provide a small platform to replace the current Ford-derived architecture, Volvo is now likely to try and engineer a small platform itself, possibly by sharing components with its Chinese owner Geely. Samuelsson also said that Volvo would not build a car smaller than today’s V40. Any new models are unlikely to arrive before the second half of the decade, however.
Volvo is still working on "better defining" its brand values to the car-buying public, admitted Samuelsson, with the SUV now becoming the ‘core’ Volvo model, rather than the classic estate car. Last year, the XC60 was the company’s best-selling model, shifting 106,203 units up from 97,183 in 2011.