Instead of building a big luxury sedan on par with the S-Class, Volvo has decided to focus on developing smaller premium cars.
Not long after Ford sold Volvo to Chinese automaker Geely in 2010, its then-new CEO Stefan Jacoby was quite adamant that his company would not build a big sedan as a competitor to the likes of the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. On the other hand, his boss, Geely chairman Li Shufu, wanted Volvo to compete directly with the likes of those prestigious German automakers, which is certainly no easy task to conquer. So Volvo created a couple of flagship sedan concepts to evaluate their feasibility.
Jump ahead a few years with Jacoby having been forced to retire early due to a stroke. His replacement, Hakan Samuelsson, has now confirmed that Volvo has ultimately dropped the prospect of a big luxury sedan, and for very good reason: aside from the expensive development costs involved, Volvo has realized that such a model wouldn’t fit with its green image. Instead, Samuelsson stated Volvo will focus on a new platform that will underpin the redesigned XC90 as well as a future replacement for the S80 sedan, which itself is fairly large but is still not on the same level as say something like the BMW 5 Series.
In addition, Volvo and Geely have teamed up to develop a new platform that will be used for a new line of compact family cars – a segment that’s apparently vital in China. Volvo also plans to continue down the path of building smaller premium models such as the all-new V40. This sounds like a much better plan than what Geely originally had in mind. After all, could you really envision Volvo building a 7 Series fighter?