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Volvo to Build its 1st EV in China

Will share same CMA architecture as next-gen XC50.

by on Apr.20, 2017

A platform to built upon: the electrified CMA architecture that will be used for Volvo's 1st EV.

While electric drive systems are powering a significant share of the new models on display at this year’s Shanghai Motor Show, Volvo is showing off a new platform – the one it use for the Swedish-based brand’s first fully electric vehicle which, officials revealed, will go on sale in 2019.

Volvo has been an aggressive proponent of clean powertrain technology – the most powerful drivetrain it currently offers is the plug-in T8 found on models like the big XC90 SUV and S90 sedan. But it is getting ready to market a battery-electric model that will meet tough new emissions and mileages standards in the U.S., China, Europe and Japan.

Global Auto News!

And it will be produced in China, at least initially, the automaker said during the Shanghai Motor Show press preview – though other models using electric propulsion are expected to be built in Europe and, most likely, at the new assembly plant Volvo is setting up near Charleston, South Carolina.

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Volvo Closing in on New US Plant Opening Target

Facility will produce as many as 60K S60s annually.

by on Apr.11, 2017

Volvo's new S60 debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and is currently imported from China.

Volvo Cars’ plans to open a new factory in South Carolina is on schedule meaning the maker will start production at its first U.S. auto factory by the end of 2018, according to Volvo officials.

The company broke ground on the plant near Ridgeville, South Carolina, in 2015 as part of its new global manufacturing strategy to support 800,000 sales in the medium term. The shell of the building is now complete.

Production News!

“This investment shows Volvo’s commitment to build cars where we sell them and source where we build. The new factory is our first in the U.S., which is our second largest market globally,” said Lex Kerssemakers, president and CEO of Volvo Car USA. (more…)

In a Class By Itself: 2017 Volvo XC90 E-AWD

Plug-in hybrid puts the emphasis on performance.

by on Mar.17, 2017

The design of the Volvo XC90 balances ruggedness with a modern, wind-swept appearance.

Say the word, “hybrid,” and you’re likely to think of a small, quirky little sedan or hatchback that trades performance for mileage. That might fit traditional gas-electric models like the Toyota Prius, but if you’re talking about the 2017 Volvo XC90 T8 E-AWD you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

Sure, this plug-in hybrid gets some great mileage numbers, at 54 MPGe. But the T8 version of Volvo’s flagship SUV also happens to be its most powerful, delivering performance that matches up to what key competitors are delivering with far less efficiency.

Reviews You Can Trust!

The Volvo XC90 T8 anchors the unique strategy that Volvo outlined a few years back and which it is now rolling into place with the completion of the 90-Series and the debut of the new XC60 at the Geneva Motor Show this month. Unlike competitors who largely rely on V-6s and 8s, especially in their bigger models, Volvo has an all-four strategy. And, as we learned during our time behind the wheel of this SUV plug-in, small really can be beautiful.

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Deja Vu All Over Again: the 2018 Volvo XC60

The next wave of Swedish metal hits the street.

by on Mar.09, 2017

At a glance, the new XC60 is almost indistinguishable from its bigger sibling, the XC90.

Plenty of folks visiting this year’s Geneva Motor Show are likely to get a sense of déjà vu when they swing by the Volvo stand. No surprise: at first blush, one could readily confuse the all-new Volvo XC60 with the maker’s only slightly older XC90.

And that’s not a bad thing, considering the design of the bigger crossover remains fresh and, since the two models share the same, flexible SPA architecture, we’re expecting the Volvo XC60 will also boast many of the same dynamic attributes that helped the XC90 win honors as North American Truck of the Year in 2016.

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Smaller, yes, but still, from first blush, more than roomy enough for five passengers. And it has many of the XC90’s most important features – which for Volvo buyers, starts with an assortment of the latest safety technology. Meanwhile, the new XC60 will be easier on the pocketbook, with the price expected to start at around $40,000 once it reaches U.S. showrooms later this year. (more…)

Volvo Stepping Up Pace of Product Makeover

"We strongly believe in electrification."

by on Mar.09, 2017

The new Volvo XC60 making its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

With the roll-out of its premium line-up complete, Volvo is now moving on to higher-volume mainstream models, such as the new XC60 utility vehicle making its debut this week at the Geneva Motor Show.

Buoyed by strong sales of the crossover, sedan and wagon versions of its 90-Series, Volvo officials are betting the brand has finally regained some much-needed momentum, and are betting on an assortment of upcoming products to keep that going, including the even smaller 40-Series that will start rolling out at the end of 2017.

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Brand News!

All three product families will be critical to the Swedish brand’s long-term future, and to the continuing support of Chinese parent Geely, which purchased Volvo from Ford Motor Co. in 2010. Geely has placed an $11 billion bet on Volvo, an investment that includes not only two new plants in China, but also another in the U.S. that will come on line during the second half of 2018.

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Volvo Exec Reveals IPO is an “Option”

Geely holds final say on potential stock offering.

by on Jan.23, 2017

Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said this weekend that an IPO is "an option" for the Swedish automaker.

Volvo Cars, which is now completely owned by a Chinese investor, is considering a stock offering, the company’s top executive told a German-language business magazine.

Hakan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars, said a stock market listing is an “option” for the Swedish carmaker, Germany’s Manager Magazin, according to a Reuters dispatch.

Global Auto News!

Samuelsson told the magazine that there are no current plans for such a move and that it would be up to parent company, Geely Holdings, to decide. Geely, which is based in China, owns 100% of Volvo, which it purchased from the Ford Motor Co. in 2010. (more…)

California DMV Wants Uber to Stop Autonomous Ride-Share Venture

Company officials say they don’t need permit.

by on Dec.15, 2016

Uber could be facing a legal storm over its decision not to get the permit California requires.

Ride-sharing service Uber has been ordered by California regulators to halt the public test of autonomous vehicles until the company gets what the state claims is the necessary permit.

Uber on Wednesday began offering rides in San Francisco using specially modified versions of the Volvo XC90 SUV. Though nearly two dozen other companies have so far received permits from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Uber officials said they are not required to get one. DMV officials have vociferously disagreed and have sent a warning to the company.

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“If Uber does not confirm immediately that it will stop its launch and seek a testing permit, DMV will initiate legal action,” DMV attorney Brian Soublet wrote in a letter to Anthony Levandowski, head of Uber’s autonomous car programs.

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Uber, Volvo Launch Autonomous Ride-Share Test in San Francisco

But pilot project is operating without a state permit, could face legal issues.

by on Dec.14, 2016

One of 11 autonomous Uber Volvo XC90s climbs a steep San Francisco hill.

Uber is expanding its autonomous vehicle pilot program to San Francisco – though the move could run afoul of California regulators since the ride-sharing service has decided not to seek a permit for the project.

Today’s launch comes three months after Uber began testing self-driving vehicles in its hometown of Pittsburgh. The company has said that it eventually wants to jump past autonomous cars and put a fleet of fully driverless vehicles on the road, something it says would lower the cost of a ride to the point where hailing an Uber would be cheaper than the cost of owning a vehicle.

We'll Keep You on Auto Pilot!

“The promise of self-driving ride sharing is becoming a reality,” said Mårten Levenstam, vice president of product planning at Volvo Cars, which is providing the vehicles being used for the San Francisco pilot. “Volvo is proud to be at the forefront of the latest developments in the automotive world alongside our partners at Uber.”

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Volvo Cars Selling Second Bond Offering

Maker seeks $325 million in Swedish market.

by on Dec.02, 2016

Volvo CEO Lex Kerssemakers said the automaker is looking to continue its growth that it has enjoyed in 2016. The latest bond sale from the maker will help.

Volvo Cars raised SEK3bn, the equivalent of $325.4 million, from its first Swedish bond issue, which will be used to improve the company’s financial flexibility and diversify its funding sources.

The bond issue follows its successful introduction to the global corporate bond market earlier this year when it raised $560 million in euro bonds.

Financial News!

“As a global company with Sweden as its home market, this step into the Swedish market is a natural one for us to make and enables us to broaden the investor base and fund in our local currency,” said Hans Oscarsson, Chief Financial Officer. (more…)

Volvo Engaging in Concierge Service Trial

Program kicking off in San Francisco area.

by on Nov.18, 2016

Some owners of the new XC90 will get to try out the maker's new Volvo Concierge Services program.

Volvo is escalating efforts to impress luxury customers with a new connected-car technology app from Volvo Cars that could end the need for users to travel to the gas station, for a car wash or for other types of services such as moving the car from one spot to another.

A pilot concierge program is scheduled to roll out this November in the San Francisco Bay area. It will soon ramp up to allow 300 invited drivers of new Volvo XC90 SUVs and S90 luxury sedans to order services such as remote fuel delivery, valet car cleaning and Volvo maintenance.

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“Volvo Concierge Services will mean that you never have to stand out in the rain to fill your car again,” said Lex Kerssemakers, president and CEO of Volvo Car USA. “At Volvo Cars our mission is to make life less complicated, and this is a great example of how in-car technology can be used to deliver this,” he added. (more…)