Volvo and parent company Geely set up a new development centre for future Ford Focus-sized models
10 August 2015

Work on a new family of baby Volvos is under way following the opening of the new China Euro Vehicle Technology (CEVT) operation in Sweden.

It describes itself as an “engineering and development centre for future C-segment cars, addressing the needs of Volvo Cars and Geely Auto”.

Based in Gothenburg, CEVT is owned by Volvo’s parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

The CEO of the new company is Mats Fagerhag, who was the lead engineer for the defunct Phoenix platform, which was intended to underpin a new family of Saabs.

CEVT says the new facility will be capable of engineering a whole vehicle, including the underlying architecture, powertrain and transmission, upper body engineering and exterior design.

This new C-segment architecture will be used for new Geely models - including models that will be sold in Europe - and the replacement for the Volvo V40 and the proposed XC40 compact SUV.

Because these vehicles will span a wide price and content range, the architecture will use an unusual philosophy based around ‘common interfaces’.

The technique was pioneered by truck maker Scania, which was also advising Fagerhag on the technique when he was developing Phoenix.

CEVT calls this technique “modular technology”. Firstly, the base structure will be scalable in its length, width, height, wheelbase and wheel size. Secondly, in order to build cars at widely differing price points, whole modules can be produced to meet “different performance steps”.

For example, a front-end module (which includes the front suspension and steering system) that can be specified with “different performance levels for handling, noise and vibrations” will be developed for the platform.

Another example is the way the new heating and ventilation system will be developed. The new climate control system will be technologically scalable so that it can be produced in manual and automatic versions, with one or several temperature zones as well as having different levels of air quality filters.

The CEVT plan should allow a wide range of model types to be constructed from this modular toolkit. It should also make it quicker andeasier to add new technology to the base architecture, as well as developing new model variants.

According to the jobs currently available at CEVT, a hybrid powertrain will be part of the new architecture, as well as mechanical all-wheel drive.

It seems likely that the hybrid will use an electrified rear axle, a technology that Fagerhag was working on for the Phoenix project.

Volvo has already announced that this new vehicle architecture will be used for the successor to the V40, which is currently based on a modified Ford EUCD platform. It will also spawn an XC40 compact SUV.

Geely has yet to say which type of vehicles it will produce using this architecture, but they will be aimed at both the European and Chinese domestic markets. Any new models are likely to be at least two and a half years away from appearing in showrooms.

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Volvo V40
The new Volvo V40 is the Swedish firm's sleek and sporty-looking answer to the VW Golf, A3 Sportback and BMW 1-series

Volvo tilts at the hatchback elite and aims to woo business drivers

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Comments
12

10 August 2015
I reckon Volvo fell on their feet when Geely bought them from the fire sale when Ford got hit by the GFC. They have a modest, honest and genuine image that Geely have allowed them to perpetuate so even if safety isn't your priority, you'd still choose one over a brash, look at me, Mercedes, Audi or BMW. Quite a few of my mates have XC90's and I've driven them. Awesome family carriers! Go Volvo!

Aussie Rob - a view from down under

10 August 2015
I reckon Volvo fell on their feet when Geely bought them from the fire sale when Ford got hit by the GFC. They have a modest, honest and genuine image that Geely have allowed them to perpetuate so even if safety isn't your priority, you'd still choose one over a brash, look at me, Mercedes, Audi or BMW. Quite a few of my mates have XC90's and I've driven them. Awesome family carriers! Go Volvo!

Aussie Rob - a view from down under

wmb

10 August 2015
Your right! It seems that Geely's purchase and investment in Volvo is or will pay off. I'm glad to see that Geely Holdings is truely interested in not only saving the brand, but seeing it prosper under its ownership. With so many Chinese automakers looking to quickly expand their reach globally, I was concerned that they would just strip mine Volvo for their benefit and future products. Now that they have some product in the pipeline at Volvo for their mid and full size sedans, CUV's and SUV's, it only makes since that they turn their attention to the question mark of their compacts. Due to the cost of developing one on the their own, Volvo had been shopping around the idea of partnering up with another automaker. I think the idea of working with their parent company is a good one for the both of them for, while they'll have to eat the cost of development, Geely would gain ground floor experience of product development from not just a global auto manufacturer, but a maker of world class luxury vehicles! IMO this could be a win-win for both and if done properly, could literally open the world to more future products from both Volvo AND Geely. My one true concern, if my thoughts matter, would be that this new platform, as described above, if it might be over engineered! This was an issue that Fiat/GM/Saab ran into when they collaborated on a vehicle architecture together years ago. The end result ended up being too heavy when compared to it's competition, over stressing the engines used as well as causing handling to suffer. If issues such as these can be over come, this venture could work out beautifully for the two on them!

10 August 2015
Aussierob wrote:
......so even if safety isn't your priority, you'd still choose one over a brash, look at me, Mercedes, Audi or BMW. Quite a few of my mates have XC90's and I've driven them. Awesome family carriers! Go Volvo!
I'm not sure that its a priority for Volvo either now. The obsession with minimalist interior design shown by the XC90 seems to fly in the face of basic driver ergonomics and concentrate on fashion instead. And a Volvo advertising promotion I received in a magazine recently split all the good points of the XC90 into ten sections. Safety was number nine on the list.

10 August 2015
Aussie Rob wrote:
They have a modest, honest and genuine image that Geely have allowed them to perpetuate so even if safety isn't your priority, you'd still choose one over a brash, look at me, Mercedes...
Not true - nothing about Volvo could be described as "modest", "honest" or "genuine". Their entire image is a fraud. Volvo is a brand built by parading the safety innovations of others, mainly Mercedes. For years, they have passed off features such as the safety cell, crumple zone, airbag, etc as if they were Volvo's own. They weren't - the Germans got there first. The Germans put in the investment and the hard graft. Some years ago, Mercedes ran a wonderful ad campaign which pointed all this out and made a mockery of the Swedes. They should run that ad again, it was brilliant. And Volvo thoroughly deserved it.

10 August 2015
Norma Smellons wrote:
Aussie Rob wrote:
They have a modest, honest and genuine image that Geely have allowed them to perpetuate so even if safety isn't your priority, you'd still choose one over a brash, look at me, Mercedes...
Not true - nothing about Volvo could be described as "modest", "honest" or "genuine". Their entire image is a fraud. Volvo is a brand built by parading the safety innovations of others, mainly Mercedes. For years, they have passed off features such as the safety cell, crumple zone, airbag, etc as if they were Volvo's own. They weren't - the Germans got there first. The Germans put in the investment and the hard graft. Some years ago, Mercedes ran a wonderful ad campaign which pointed all this out and made a mockery of the Swedes. They should run that ad again, it was brilliant. And Volvo thoroughly deserved it.
Never heard of it, can you please provide a link or something to this ad campaign, because frankly I smell BS..

A34

10 August 2015
Citytiger wrote:
Norma Smellons wrote:
Aussie Rob wrote:
They have a modest, honest and genuine image that Geely have allowed them to perpetuate so even if safety isn't your priority, you'd still choose one over a brash, look at me, Mercedes...
... Volvo is a brand built by parading the safety innovations of others, mainly Mercedes. ... Some years ago, Mercedes ran a wonderful ad campaign which pointed all this out and made a mockery of the Swedes. ....
Never heard of it, can you please provide a link or something to this ad campaign, because frankly I smell BS..
Internet search is a wondrous thing: check youtube reference ylo3yrh228Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylo3yrh228Y

11 August 2015
A34 wrote:
Citytiger wrote:
Norma Smellons wrote:
Aussie Rob wrote:
They have a modest, honest and genuine image that Geely have allowed them to perpetuate so even if safety isn't your priority, you'd still choose one over a brash, look at me, Mercedes...
... Volvo is a brand built by parading the safety innovations of others, mainly Mercedes. ... Some years ago, Mercedes ran a wonderful ad campaign which pointed all this out and made a mockery of the Swedes. ....
Never heard of it, can you please provide a link or something to this ad campaign, because frankly I smell BS..
Internet search is a wondrous thing: check youtube reference ylo3yrh228Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylo3yrh228Y
So where exactly does this make a mockery of the Swiss/Volvo [url]https://www.volvoclub.org.uk/volvo_safety_innovations.shtml[/url]

12 August 2015
Citytiger wrote:
So where exactly does this make a mockery of the Swiss/Volvo
Volvo is Swedish, not Swiss. Look it up, if you like. And whilst this particular film may not be the one I was referring to, it still perfectly highlights the fact that the so-called safety USPs which Volvo has made so much of over the years were actually invented by a different company.
Norma wrote:
...made a mockery of the Swedes
To clarify, "Swedes" makes reference to "Volvo" and not the entire Swedish nation. I am not suggesting that Mercedes Benz made fun of the members of ABBA, for example. I hope you weren't confused by this remark.

12 August 2015
Good find. However, this ad is not the one I am referring to but it is part of the same series from the late 1990's. Its ridicule of Volvo was highly memorable because the only car to feature in it was a Volvo 850, driving about at speed. At first glance, it looked like a Volvo ad but after noting each safety feature, the phrase "Invented By Mercedes" kept appearing. I have rarely seen stuffy old Benz strike out in this way; they must have grown sick of Volvo's posturing. The ad was not, I believe, displayed in Europe, only in the US.

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