Volvo revival reaching ‘end of the beginning’?

Volvo’s CEO says that Volvo Car USA has turned the corner with two of its 90-series vehicles on sale and others due early next year. A U.S. sales increase of 29 percent through August is evidence that Volvo’s gutsy revival strategy was the right choice. Volvo is building all its vehicles on its flexible Scalable Product Architecture, or SPA. And it is using only turbo and supercharged Drive-E engines paired with optional plug-in hybrid power. Lex Kerssemakers says that the company is on a turnaround in the U.S. that started with the XC90.

Volvo was starved for product for years after its ownership by Ford Motor Co. The Swedish brand was sold to China’s Geely in 2010 and began developing new products and engines – the first of which was last year’s XC90 crossover. So with more of the 90-series line coming to market, “we are at the end of the beginning,” Kerssemakers said. U.S. sales of the redesigned XC90 crossover through August totaled 21,760 units – higher than the competing Audi Q7 – and are expected to grow to 30,000 vehicles this year. Next year, sales of the new V90 Cross Country unveiled here will account for an additional 5,000 to 6,000 units. The Cross Country is a rugged version of the V90 station wagon with high seating, high ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive. The S90 sedan is already on sale. The V90, V90 Cross Country and the new long-wheelbase S90L go on sale in early 2017.

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