• Volvo continues to build on its SUV onslaught.
• South Africans still enjoy hatchback style vehicles.
• A Battery Electric Vehicle is set to be launched soon while other all-electric products will follow shortly.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
The continual rise of the Volvo brand since its emancipation from Ford a few years ago has seen the Swedish car giant pour the majority of its resources and focus into SUVs, and for good reason.
The elevated ride height and 'go-anywhere' dynamics of these lofty vehicles have found favour with the car buying world over the past five years in particular. This begs the question, will Volvo introduce a successor to the recently discontinued V40 hatchback, or will the XC40 take up the entry-level position within the range?
Image: Volvo Design Team
A word from Volvo
We recently sat down, virtually, with Tomas Flodin, Senior Director, Strategy and Business Ownership at Volvo Cars. His response to our burning question was: "There will be new models on CMA. We can't give more information as this stage."
The 'CMA' that Mr Flodin is referring to is the brand's Compact Modular Architecture which is designed to underpin smaller models while the Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) is used in the larger vehicles within the range. If there is a V40 coming in the future, it will be built on the CMA architecture, so we will have to wait for confirmation on whether this will be produced or not.
The rise of premium SUVs
Looking at the monthly vehicle sales figures, it would appear that South Africans still enjoy hatchback-style vehicles; however, traditional hatchbacks within the premium space are increasingly being replaced with crossovers and more conventional SUVs.
It would appear that the Swedish marque has focussed its efforts on its SUV range while emphasising a rationalised model range, making the purchasing process easier.
Image: Volvo Cars
With strict Euro emissions targets and further CO2 restrictions on the horizon, Volvo appears to have placed a lot of its efforts into the electrification of its model range, offering some form of electrification in every model that it sells as of last year.
Flodin told Wheels24 that an XC40 BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) is set to be launched soon while other all-electric products will follow shortly.
Volvo aims to have 50% of its vehicle sales to comprise of full battery electric vehicles by 2025, which would require a rapid adoption of this technology among the South African car-buying public.
"Reaching a 50% BEV share by 2025 is a clear Volvo ambition, but this, of course, depends on customer demand, which means that we will continue to offer plug-in hybrids as well as mild hybrids after 2025.
"A plug-in hybrid is an ideal stepping-stone for many buyers who perhaps aren't ready to make the transition to pure electric just yet. By charging a PHEV regularly – e.g. at home and/or at work – the average commuter can do their weekly driving without using any fuel while having added flexibility to travel greater distances at weekends." Flodin says.