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Volvo’s Care Subscription Program Key to Growth Plans

VCNA chief acknowledges reliability concerns but says problems, warranty costs, are tumbling.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.08, 2018

Volvo Cars North America CEO Anders Gustafsson with images of some of the first workers at the automaker's new Charleston plant.

U.S. new vehicle sales are on course to post their second consecutive decline as 2018 draws to a close, but you’d have a hard time telling that if you were just looking at Volvo’s numbers.

The Swedish automaker has posted a 27% jump in demand through the end of October and, with more products ready to land in U.S. showrooms, Volvo Cars USA CEO Anders Gustafsson said Thursday he is optimistic the company can keep its momentum growing.

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Several factors could give meaning to his forecast, including not just the launch of the new Volvo S60, but the start of production at the Chinese-owned automaker’s first U.S. assembly plant in Charleston, South Carolina. Then there’s Care by Volvo, the subscription program the carmaker launched late last year.

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First Drive: 2018 Volvo XC40

Small, less formal-looking package still offers plenty of comfort, sophistication.

by Joseph Szczesny on Feb.28, 2018

The new Volvo XC40 gives the brand an entry in the growing compact crossover segment.

Utility vehicles such as the XC90 and XC60 have led Volvo’s revival around the world.

Now Volvo is adding a new smallish – if you can call a vehicle that weighs two tons small – utility vehicle to its engaging product portfolio.

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The XC40 is what the carmakers have started calling an “an urban crossover” and it offers a comfortable, luxurious experience in a modest way, with ample if not overwhelming power, the latest safety and connected technology as well as well-modulated ride and handling in a nicely designed package. (more…)

What’s Coming to the 2017 L.A. Auto Show?

An array of utility vehicles, a handful of sedans – and a breakthrough gas engine.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.27, 2017

The BMW i8 roadster gets a soft top and a more powerful drivetrain with a longer-range battery

This week marks the opening of the Los Angeles Auto Show, the nation’s first big car show of the 2018 model-year. Over a dozen manufacturers will roll out new products in Tinseltown, some making their global debuts, others appearing for the first time in North America.

While there are a few surprises in store, a number of manufacturers have already offered insight into what they’ll introduce at the L.A. Convention Center. That includes Jeep, which will lift the covers off the much-anticipated new Wrangler sport-utility vehicle. No surprise, in fact, that utes will dominate the show’s schedule, though we’ll see some intriguing products on the passenger car side, including the third-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS and, for mainstream buyers, the new Mazda6.

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The Los Angeles show has a tradition of focusing on green technology and there’ll be plenty of alternative tech to check out, including the new roadster version of BMW’s plug-in hybrid i8, as well as the new Infiniti Q50 which introduces the first variable-compression turbo engine.

Here’s a look at some of the most important introductions we’ll be seeing this week:

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Volvo Downsizes With Debut of new XC40

New “Care by Volvo” program could redefine car buying, ownership, maker claims.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Sep.21, 2017

Volvo continues to expand its offerings with the new XC40 utility vehicle.

Volvo is rapidly fleshing out its showrooms, and with the launch of the new XC40 sport-utility vehicle it is taking aim at one of the world’s fastest-growing market segments.

The new crossover follows in the tire tracks of the well-received XC90 and XC60 models and marks the debut of an all-new Compact Modular Architecture, or CMA platform, that will be used for a range of additional, downsized products to come over the next several years. It also helps Volvo introduce the new “Care by Volvo” program that, the maker claims, could help redefine the car buying and ownership experience.

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“The XC40 is our first entry in the small SUV segment, broadening the appeal of the Volvo brand and moving it in a new direction,” said Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson during a preview of the new model in Milan on Thursday. (more…)

Volvo Unveils New XC40 and S40 Concepts

Underlying CMA platform will be shared with Chinese parent Geely.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on May.19, 2016

This concept will reappear next year as the completely redesigned Volvo XC40.

Volvo is in the midst of a complete brand makeover, and the automaker is giving us a hint of its next move in an aggressive, top-to-bottom product rollout with the unveiling of the new S40 and XC40 concepts.

Both models will mark a significant step forward, but not only for the Swedish automaker. In production, the next-gen Volvo XC40 and Volvo S40 models will ride on the maker’s all-new Compact Modular Architecture which is designed to be shared with Chinese parent Geely. It is, in fact, a key to Geely’s long-term goal to transform itself into a truly global automaker.

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“CMA has helped us to capture something special, something youthful in our new concept cars. They have an energy, a disruptive and engaging urban character that makes them stand out,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s senior vice president of design.

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