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Mon, 17 Jun 2013 15:43:00 EST
It was just a rumor, but now it's official, mates: Volvo will be joining the V8 Supercars series in Australia with an official team for 2014. Volvo is partnering with Garry Rogers Motorsport and its own Polestar tuning firm to create Volvo Polestar Racing.
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 17:31:00 EST
A V8 engine will be produced by the Swedish arm of the racing effort, and will be supplied to the Garry Rogers team, which will get the whole shebang ready for the track. The outfit will be running two V8 Supercars "based on the production S60 road car." Considering that the S60 uses a range of transversely mounted engines with four, five or six cylinders (powering either the front or all four wheels) while the new race car will employ a V8 sending about 650 horsepower to the rear wheels, make that very loosely based on the production S60...
Volvo claims this is the first factory-backed entry in the V8 Supercars series from a luxury brand. We should note, though, that Mercedes-Benz is represented in the series with an E-Class sedan, but that outfit isn't quite an official entry from the car's German parents. In any case, you're encouraged to watch the teaser video and read the press release below for all the details.
Volvo is furthering its deep ties in China by announcing a major expansion to its factory in Daqing that will equip the site to build its future S90 sedan. The automaker is promising to make the plant, "one of the most advanced car making facilities in China," according to its press release. Unfortunately, the company isn't specifying the amount being invested or how long the work will take.
Thu, 13 Feb 2014 14:16:00 EST
Because the northeastern Chinese city of Daqing owns about 37 percent of the automaker, the location for the significant expansion isn't entirely surprising, especially since Geely owns a majority stake in the Swedish brand. The existing factory there employs about 700 people to build the original XC90 for the local market, but the upgrades will allow the plant to handle Volvo's Scalable Product Architecture modular platform.
To be fair, Volvo doesn't specifically call out the S80-replacing S90 by name in its announcement. However, it promises the first vehicle built in Daqing after the expansion will be a new premium sedan, and the upgrades will allow the plant to make "most innovative vehicles in its product range," and the range-topping sedan is widely expected to adopt the S90 moniker.
Struggling Volvo may be on a verge of a renaissance thanks to the forthcoming completion of its lauded concept car trilogy, new Drive-E engine family and much-discussed SPA modular platform. Its nascent renewal is mostly being financed by $11-billion in funding from its Chinese parent company, Geely, and if it all goes right, Volvo hopes to sell 100,000 cars a year in the States by 2016. That milestone is vital, because it would ensure Volvo's US dealer network is profitable, according to Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson.
In a new Ward's Auto story, Samuelsson notes that his company is launching a slate of fresh products in the coming years, including the new-to-the-US V60 wagon and mid-cycle updates for its S60 sedan and XC60 crossover. But the most important new vehicle will be the recently spied XC90 that is expected to be unveiled just before the end of this year. Samuelsson is also looking at future vehicles for the US, including replacements for the S80 and V70. The V40 is also planned for the US, but not until the next generation, according to the Volvo CEO.
Of course, it's going to take a lot to reach 100,000 US sales in three years. Volvo sold just 61,233 units here in 2013, and according to WardsAuto, Volvo hasn't sold 100,000 cars in the US since 2007. To reach its goal, Volvo's stateside business will need to grow sales by about 40 percent.