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China, to Stimulate Volvo's Growth

Volvo Cars is trying to establish greater global sales. To give the needed boost, Volvo is concentrating on China auto market. The automaker expects that the latter can give Volvo a significant lift to yield growth in global car market.

Fredrik Arp, Volvo's chief executive officer said that China is the automaker's 'most exciting' auto market around the globe. He added that Volvo's growth in said nation will serve as a vital part of its global aim, which is to sell 600,000 vehicles per year starting this year until 2009. Arp added, "In the next five to 10 years, we believe that China will move up to second place in Volvo Cars' sales chart."

According to automotive sales reports, Volvo sold about 444,000 vehicles last year globally. In China, last year's Volvo sales stood at 5,000 units. This year, in the month of July, Volvo has started the production of S40 compact sedan. The production is a joint venture of the automaker with Japan's Mazda Motor and China's Chang'an Motor in Chongqing Municipality. Said venture is under a technical licensing deal. Arp sees the business venture as "a big step" towards the goal of improving China sales.

The second generation Volvo S40, along with V40 and V50, were launched in 2004. S40 was based on Volvo P1 platform. Previously, the car is only built at the Volvo Cars factory in Ghent, Belgium. Now that the automaker has started with the venture, Volvo S40 performance parts can now be assembled in Volvo China plant.

Volvo Cars China claims that the company's sales in the nation are anticipated to reach 9,000 vehicles this year. Said figure is 80 percent more from that of last year's sales. Next year, the automaker expects to boost sales at the same rate or more of that anticipated this year.

Aside from S40, Volvo cars including all-new S80 large-sized sedan and the imported XC90 sport utility vehicle will be made available in China. Volvo S80, an executive car, was introduced to the auto market in 1999 as a replacement for Volvo 960/S90 sedan. The assembly of Volvo S80 parts was based on the EUCD platform. Currently, the car is the flagship model of the automaker.

Volvo XC90, on one hand, is a midsize luxury crossover SUV built at Volvo's Torslanda plant in Sweden. Last year, new Volvo V8 engine was added to Volvo parts XC90. The new engine generates 311 horsepower and 325 ft•lbf of torque. The car was updated for the 2007 model year. The new version debuted at the 2006 New York Auto Show.

Analysts said that premium cars like Volvo cars have huge growth potential in China. At present, wealthy population, which is the market of Volvo is expanding rapidly in said nation.

About the Author: As a former news correspondent for an auto-related websites, Kevin has gathered extensive knowledge and experience in the automotive industry. This 34 year old father of three from Pennsylvania is a genuine car lover.

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