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Volvo to Replace Its Traditional Models, Despite Sales of S and V Series Being Eclipsed by SUVs

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Volvo has confirmed that it will replace its long-standing ‘S’ saloon and ‘V’ estate models, even though SUVs now account for 75% of total sales.

The company’s global bestseller, the Volvo XC60 SUV, has sold more units (162,600) in the first three quarters of 2021 than the S60, V60, S90 and V90 combined.

Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said, “Yes, the [S and V] lines are being replaced by something that is even more attractive to consumers. We need lower cars with more conventional body size, but maybe a bit less square [than before]. These low cars will be offered in addition to our high-positioned SUVs. Stay tuned.”

Asked if the shape of the Volvo C40 Recharge SUV will lead to more coupe-inspired Volvos, Samuelsson said, “Yes and no. Cars will be less boxy in the future when we need less drag, and you could call it coupe-like. We talk a lot about the range of electric cars, but I think we will also look at energy efficiency, and of course, drag will play a central role in that.”

Last year, Samuelsson told Autos Community that the Swedish manufacturer would expand its SUV range while scaling back its traditional sedans and station waggons. So Volvo traditionalists will be pleased to hear that the V and S lines will continue in some form. However, it is unlikely that they will carry the V and S designations, as Volvo confirmed in July that it would give future models names rather than alpha numbers.

In March, Samuelsson is expected to step down as Volvo CEO and be replaced by former Dyson Group CEO Jim Rowan. He will also leave Volvo’s board but continue as chairman of EV performance brand Polestar.

Volvo is also shifting its production priorities. It builds 15,000 electric cars a year but will increase capacity to 150,000 electric vehicles by autumn next year.

Commenting on its target of 50% electric car sales by 2025, Bjoern Annwall, Volvo’s chief financial officer, said, “You need customers to want EVs, and we believe ours do. They need great cars, and we have them.”

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