TOKYO - Volvo wants to extend its product range above the current high-end S80 sedan.
In an interview at the Tokyo auto show, Volvo President and CEO Hans-Olov Olsson said Volvo is looking at launching vehicles that would cost more than the S80. A top-of-the-range S80 retails for about $45,000 (E49,750).
'If we are going to grow, we have to look at how can we expand,' Olsson said. 'Where we are with the S40 and V40 as entry level cars and the S80 as the top, the lineup is between $25,000 and $45,000. To grow, we have to look at the segments above and below where we are competing.'
Extending the reach of Volvo's products upward would test the strength of the Volvo brand.
In addition, the Swedish carmaker is planning to move downmarket by developing a premium small car to rival the Mercedes-Benz A class and Audi A2.
'There is always debate about whether Volvo should take on the luxury sedans, or whether that's the territory of somebody else,' Olsson said. 'Don't misunderstand me, we are not aiming for the Mercedes S class or something. We have to find new definitions, we have to have imagination, and we have to challenge ourselves because we are in a saturated market. We have to take the risk and see if we can attract the same people in another direction.'
Volvo is in the middle of an aggressive product development campaign that will bring five new or redesigned product lines to market in the next five years. The automaker hopes to expand its annual global sales from 420,000 to about 600,000 units.
In addition to the new premium entries, Volvo will launch a new sport-utility based on the Adventure Concept Car; a redesign of the S40 and V40; and a new version of the C70 coupe and convertible.
* Full Olsson interview, Page 12.