Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo's product strategy boss, says he would love to produce an all-electric version of the Concept Coupé – but it's likely to remain a dream for the time being
7 September 2014

Volvo would “love” to build a Tesla-rivalling all-electric version of its Concept Coupé, but it will remain a dream for some time to come, according to Lex Kerssemakers, the company’s boss of product strategy. 

Although Volvo has traditionally had coupés in its line-up, the firm’s C-Range remains officially “on hold”.

Kerssemakers told Autocar that Volvo’s primary aim is to replace its mainstream models and keep working towards hitting 800,000 annual sales by 2020. Last year Volvo sold 427,000 cars and it moved into profit in the first half of 2014.

“The number one product on my want list would be a smaller crossover [in the 40-series family],” he said. “It will come eventually. We are working on our new CMA platform for the 40-series cars.”

After the XC90 starts production next January, attention will turn to replacing the ageing S80, destined to be badged S90, and then a new flagship V90 estate.

Kerssemakers said Volvo was committed to remaining in the C-segment with a replacement for the V40. “It allows us to catch buyers who will rise up through the Volvo range as they get older.”

Kerssemakers said launching the all-new SPA platform and all-new engines and transmissions was “the ultimate dream” for the firm. 

He said: “When Ford decided to sell us in 2008, there was no XC90 replacement model in the cycle plan. I was sure that we couldn’t do a good enough seven-seat SUV using Ford’s EUCD platform, so I didn’t put a new version in the plan.”

He also said he had concerns about the backlash towards big SUVs in urban areas and only wanted to make a “socially responsible” model. 

Kerssemakers said Volvo is now in an “ideal position”, having bet in 2009 on using only four-pot engines and backing these with a plug-in hybrid transmission. He said even in the US, which is heavily biased towards six-cylinder engines, sales of the new four-pot Drive-E-equipped XC60 are continuing to rise.

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Comments
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7 September 2014

Tesla is a clear leader in the electric car technology, even a myopic will find it hard to challenge. This lead would quadruple once Tesla has established its solar chargers and the new multi billion battery factory is up and running.

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