Volvo Is Betting Big Bucks That Americans Will Like Its Chinese Cars

Long Wheelbase

It's a long shot, but we like any idea that eliminates some crossovers.

As any Will Ferrell parody about Americans will show, US inhabitants like little else than to throw around the phrase “freedom.” It’s usually in reference to the liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, but for our purposes, let’s just say we love the freedom to traverse states in our own cars because manifest destiny said so. Not only that, but we like to be at the helm, self-driving cars and chauffeurs be damned. That's why the latest news from the presses of Automotive News Europe has us scratching our heads.

According to the source, Volvo’s sales executive for China Yuan Xiaolin mentioned that the stretched long wheelbase version of the S90 will soon be making its way to the US. When reaching out to the automaker’s Swedish headquarters, it heard that no such plans had been made. This means Xiaolin was either making up stories or leaking secret information. Built in Daqing, China, the LWB S90 is intended to try and help Volvo gain a foothold against the German giants BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. In the US, the general trend is to find a happy medium by turning every sedan and SUV into a crossover to gobble up sales. This is a direct reflection on the values and lifestyle of the typical American.

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In the States, a car must be able to pick up the kids from soccer practice, drive with some semblance of agility, get decent gas mileage, and endure long distance road trips with comfort and safety. In China, things are different. Those who can afford luxury cars tend to spring for a driver to compliment, meaning that the buyer spends more time in the rear seat. Immediately, this shifts priorities and that has translated to the boom of long wheelbase luxury sedans in China. So why does Volvo think it should bring the S90 LWB over to the US? The short answer is that nobody really knows, but given that Volvo already ships a LWB S60 over to America from Daqing, it could be that the automaker is sampling to see if the craze catches on over here.

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