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Volvo XC40 Compact SUV Is Coming in 2018 to Wrestle with X1, GLA, and Q3

Volvo didn’t just need to revamp its range of models, it also needed to extend it considerably if it wanted to remain competitive in the premium segment.
Volvo preparing a compact SUV 1 photo
With the three main actors being some well-established figures on the market, Volvo wants to come up with something different, and they’ve narrowed it down to three key factors: design, technology, and services.

Everybody offers “design” one way or another, but with Audi using the carbon copy/rescale technique one too many times and Mercedes-Benz following suit lately, that just leaves BMW. And, let’s face it, their models aren’t all that different either. So Volvo might actually be on to something here, as long as they manage to maintain both brand and model identity.

Technology is a field where all the major carmakers are currently busting their asses off to come up with the best gadgets, so coming out on top here is a very difficult thing to do - and also pretty volatile, as it’s a fast-moving domain.

The service part, as important as it is in reality, is still a minor factor in the customer’s buying decision process. Who knows, things might change over time, but as they stand now, you can’t expect people to buy your cars just because of the quality of your services.

So, what's next?


The XC40, a compact SUV smaller than the aging XC60, would come as a natural evolution for the Volvo line-up. Everyone’s trying to come up with as many SUVs and crossovers as possible (see what Mercedes-Benz is doing), so it would be bad business for Volvo to stand against the tide.

Instead, they seem to be going with the flow and the company’s CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, has confirmed the compact SUV is high on Volvo’s priority list in a discussion with AutoNews.

In fact, the XC40 is expected to come as soon as early 2018, with a new V40 scheduled for a year later. The new SUV, along with the other Volvo models based on the CMA modular platform, will continue to be built in the company’s Ghent plant in Belgium, but also in Chengdu, China.

Concerning powering options for the new car, Volvo is adamant it won’t use other engines but their own. “We will not be sourcing engines from other manufacturers. Instead, we will be offering three- and four-cylinder versions of our own new engine program,” Samuelsson said. “We will also offer a plug-in hybrid for the compact models. Autonomous driving will be an option we will offer in our cars as of 2020, also in the compact lineup.

Volvo will likely end this year with a total number of over 500,000 cars sold worldwide, but that’s not enough to grant the brand a sustainable future in the long term. Its aim is to reach 800,000 by 2020, and with such new models like the XC90 and the almost ready to launch S90 (as well as the XC60 that keeps on selling well), Volvo has every reason to feel confident.

 
 
 
 
 

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