With the continuing rise in popularity of SUVs and crossovers, it’s not surprising that automakers are turning their attention increasingly to these hot sales segments. This goes for automakers of all sizes—and even for those whose passenger cars have been their bread and butter. This includes Volvo, which has catered to station wagon and sedan buyers longer than a lot of other automakers.
Now the Swedish automaker, which plans to go EV-only by 2030, may drop some of those sedans and station wagons in favor of SUVs, which already account for 75% of its sales as Autocar notes.
Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson told Autocar in no uncertain terms that the automaker wants to see fewer passenger cars in its lineup in the coming years, in response to consumer tastes.
“We need less variants of sedans and wagons; we have lots of wagons today, with the V60, V90, Cross Country, non-Cross County, and a lot of saloons big and small, long and extra-long,” Samuelsson told Autocar. “We need to move from wagons and sedans; we will still have them in future, but probably not as many.”
“We need more SUV types of higher electric vehicles,” Samuelsson added. “That’s the way of working right now and what we have in our development pipeline.”
Samuelsson did not give the publication specifics regarding which sedans and wagons could be dropped, but there are a few usual suspects that have been mentioned in the past couple of years as being likely to be put on hiatus once their product cycles end, and as Volvo transforms into an EV automaker.
Which models do we expect will depart in the coming years?
At the moment Volvo has the S60 and S90 sedans, offered globally in two wheelbases each, and the V60 and V90 wagons in standard and Cross Country flavors. Some of the variety has already been cut from the lineup—it dropped the smaller V40 hatch a couple of years ago, the V50 wagon before that, and the smaller S40 almost a decade ago now—in favor of larger and more expensive models.
The shift in focus to SUVs makes it difficult to see Volvo continuing to produce both a midsize and large luxury sedans, especially ones that don’t quite compete directly with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class or the BMW 7-Series—an issue that Volvo has faced since the debut of the 1999 Volvo S80 sedan. A number of automakers are also looking to sharply consolidate traditional sedan offerings as electric sedans continue to gather on the horizon.
Then again, even Jaguar dropped its upcoming electric sedan, and just before it was headed to production. Everything, it seems—including EVs—is vulnerable if it’s in a fading segment.
When it comes to station wagons, the situation for Volvo is similar: The V60 and V90 wagons and their Cross Country variants make for a lot of model choices for a mid-sized automaker. Industry observers have noted that despite Volvo’s success at mining the wagon segments for some time now, four wagon variants is too many as SUV sales continue to pick up.
The likelihood is that Volvo would consolidate its V60 and V90 offerings into a single model that’s a bit larger than the V60 but with a sticker south of the V90’s price tag, with the same happening on the sedan side with the S60 and S90.
Which of its sedan and wagon offerings do you think Volvo could drop as it seeks too offer more SUVs and EV? Let us know in the comments below.
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