Volvo’s new Chinese owners want to improve the manufacturer’s sales results into a more upmarket bracket by building a ‘S100’ limousine to join the already-bulging category occupied by the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A7 and BMW 7-Series.
The Chinese group Zeejiang Geely purchased Volvo from Ford for a hefty $1.7 billion, and now sets its sights on turning the marque into a profitable organisation once again.
In his first interview with Automotive Weekly, Geely’s chairman Li Shufu has claimed that Volvo would become profitable with just a 15% increase in sales results.
“If Volvo can sell 380,000 units every year, the business will be profitable, but in order to get an upper hand in the competition we need a dramatic increase in volume [above that figure],” he said.
Volvo’s 2009 sales were a total of 335,000 units, but reported a revenue loss of $730M.
“We want to make more high-level cars that compete with the S-Class and 7-Series of BMW,” Shufu added. “We need products to compete in that segment.”
Volvo’s highest seller is currently the S80 sedan (pictured), which costs between $80,000 and $100,000 depending on the add-ons and specifications.
The potential competition in the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class are priced upwards of $198,000.
Volvo is hardly the brand one considers a frontrunner when examining the luxury car category, and it begs the question of how such a move into this category would be perceived. Would Volvo not be better off sticking to what it knows?
[Original image via Car Gurus]