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Volvo Expands Into Wagons, Crossovers

Volvo is getting ready to roll the red carpet and welcome the newest wagons and crossovers into its clan. The new Volvo XC60 crossover is set to arrive in 2009. By that time, the automaker will be having 5 wagons or crossovers. However, Volvo will not be stopping there because it intends to make further expansions.

The automaker is contemplating on moving both upscale and downmarket from the existing lineup of the Volvo vehicles V50, V70, XC70, XC90 and XC60. This information was divulged by Volvo’s top executives at the North American International Auto Show. "Volvo is well-known for its versatility," said Steven Armstrong, Volvo Car Corporation’s COO. "We were producing crossovers before the term was even invented. There are still plenty of opportunities to fill in gaps with new things."

It can be recalled that Volvo has created a luxury wagon concept for the 2003 Geneva auto show called the Versatility Concept Car. Said concept, if produced, will be called the Volvo V90. Volvo also is studying a crossover smaller than the Volvo XC60, said Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo Car senior vice president of brand business and product strategy. "If we were to further expand our model range, likely it would be in the V or XC range."

The Volvo XC60 Concept was revealed at 2007 North American International Auto Show. Said vehicle will share same Ford C1 platform technology with the Land Rover Freelander. The vehicle should not be confused with the Volvo XC50 which was the first name used for the vehicle. The Volvo XC60 delivers brand new styling and design direction that mirrors upcoming Volvo vehicles.

The Volvo XC60 is about the same size as the BMW X3 or Acura RDX. It boasts outstanding features like the glass roof and a newly styled grille, a new shifting mechanism, a mechanical tail gate, a much larger Volvo symbol, and 20-inch rims.

Armstrong said that such a vehicle would be a logical move for people who entered the Volvo brand with the Volvo C30 hatchback or S40 sedan. As for the Volvo V90, Kerssemakers said it is "high on my wish list, but we have to be realistic. There's a limit to what a small organization can do."

Though the automaker is expanding into wagons and crossovers, it said that one segment it will not enter is minivans. "The XC90 is our seven-seat interpretation," Kerssemakers said. "We're happy with it. Our customers are happy with it." Kerssemakers also concluded that Volvo needs to ensure that its current lineup is profitable before it can expand into new arenas. "All those variants cost a lot of money. But it is easier to cancel or reduce volumes of a vehicle than to suddenly have to play catch-up."

Volvo has built several wagons and crossovers before. One of which is the Volvo 850, a compact executive car which is available in both sedan and station wagon. Volvo 850 parts mated to the very first front-wheel drive vehicle to be exported to North America create a fabulous impression on the automaker. In 1998, the Volvo 850 was modified and renamed the S70 (sedan version) and V70 (station wagon version). These vehicles were replaced by the Volvo S60 and Volvo V70.

About the Author: Glady Reign is a 32 year old is a consultant for an automotive firm based in Detroit, Mi. she is a native of the Motor City and grew up around cars hence her expertise in the automotive field.

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