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Volvo focusing on electrification, not entering new segments

by Ronan Glon

The company\'s model offensive is nearly done.

Volvo embarked on a model offensive of unprecedented proportions at the turn of the current decade. It has renewed nearly its entire line-up, so it's now turning its attention to electrification.

The company will not launch an all-new model between now and 2020, British magazine Autocar reports. It will replace some of its models, like the S60 and the V40 (a Golf-sized hatchback not sold in America), but it won't add nameplates to its portfolio.

"It would be nice to have a convertible or a coupe. It's the cream on the cake but you don't need it to survive," Lex Kerssemarkers, Volvo's head of the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region told the magazine. "We cover 98% of the market with our current portfolio. Our electrification goals show we are taking it very seriously and we are rapidly expanding our electrified powertrains," he added.

Volvo is hard at work on developing its first electric car, which won't hit showrooms until 2020. It will compete in the same segment as the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model 3, according to earlier reports, and it will share its modular CMA platform with the XC40. Production will take place in China.

That doesn't mean we won't see anything new from Volvo until the electric car arrives. The company will introduce the next-generation S60 this summer during an event held in the brand-new South Carolina factory that will build the car. It's also preparing the next-generation V40, though it's unclear whether we'll see the hatchback in America.

Volvo gave us an early look at the S60 in March. We haven't gotten a glimpse at the V40 yet, but Kerssemakers stated we shouldn't expect a drastic transformation.

"The old XC90 to the new XC90 was a big difference because it was much larger, while the XC40 we could be a lot more extreme because it was the new kid on the block. The V40 is well established," he told Autocar.

Photo by Ronan Glon.