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Future products: Geely must retool Volvo plans

Wed, 01 Sep 2010

Ford Motor Co.'s sale of Volvo to Geely in August leaves doubt about the Swedish company's product plans.

For example, all of Volvo's current range except the 9-year-old XC90 crossover makes use of Ford vehicles and components. The XC90 is based on Volvo's P2 platform and was developed before Ford ownership.

But small cars--the S40, V50, S70 and C30--use the C1 platform, engineered by Ford, Mazda and Volvo. The S60/XC60, XC70 and S80 use Ford's EUCD large-car platform. Volvo's 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine was developed with Land Rover when both were owned by Ford.

The only new vehicle Volvo is scheduled to unveil in the next few years in the United States is the S60 sedan, which goes on sale in September. Doug Speck, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, expects annual sales of 15,000 to 25,000. Last year Volvo sold 5,895 S60s, down from 8,966 in 2008.

Speck said the S60 has "trendsetting" design and "the best interior package we have ever had in a sedan, with better height and legroom."

Here is a rundown of Volvo's plans.

C30: This year the three-door hatchback received a midlife freshening that included mild changes to the front end. A redesigned or re-engineered model is possible after 2013.

C70: The hard-top convertible was mildly freshened this year with changes to the lights and bumpers. The interior was also upgraded. A redesign isn't due for several years.

S40: The small sedan likely will be dropped after the 2011 model year.

S60: A redesigned version of the 11-year-old car will go on sale in September. Initially, the S60 will be available only with all-wheel drive and a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine with 300 hp. In 2012, the car is expected to get Volvo's turbocharged, 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine and possibly a four-cylinder.

V50: The compact wagon may be dropped in the United States after the 2011 model year.

V60: The redesigned wagon goes on sale in 2011 in Europe, replacing the V50. But it won't go on sale in the United States because of the declining appeal of station wagons in this country.

XC60: A freshening of the crossover is likely in 2013.

V70: The large station wagon will be discontinued in the United States after the 2010 model year.

XC70: A front-drive version will be offered in the United States this year.

S80: No major changes in the sedan are expected.

XC90: A redesign of the crossover has been delayed until 2012.

By Diana T. Kurylko- Automotive News