Production of Volvo’s first ever small premium SUV begins in Belgium
A new era starts for the Volvo Cars plant in Ghent, Belgium today as the first customer-bound XC40 small SUV is set to roll off the production line.
The new XC40, for which the company has already received over 13,000 orders, is Volvo Cars’ first ever small premium SUV. The first customers can expect to take delivery of their new XC40 early next year.
With the XC40, Volvo Cars enters the fastest growing segment in the automotive industry and the car paves the way for continued sales and revenue growth for the company. Joining its larger XC60 and XC90 cousins, the XC40 completes Volvo’s global SUV line-up.
The arrival of the first XC40 will be welcomed by a number of high-profile guests, including Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, Volvo Cars chief executive and president Håkan Samuelsson and Javier Varela, Senior Vice President Manufacturing and Logistics at Volvo Cars.
“This is a proud day for Ghent, the company and all our employees here,” said Mr Samuelsson. “Our people have put in long days and many hours to prepare the plant for the start of XC40 production and they have done a great job. The XC40 represents a bright future for Ghent and for Volvo Cars.”
The new XC40 is the first model on Volvo Cars’ new modular small car platform, the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which will underpin all upcoming cars in the 40 series. The CMA platform, co-developed with Geely, will provide Volvo Cars with the necessary synergies and economies of scale for the small premium car segment.
Preparations for the production start of the XC40 in Ghent have been ongoing for a long time. Considerable investments in recent years have transformed the Ghent plant into a global export hub for CMA-based cars, including an 8,000 square metre addition to the body shop.
A total of 363 new robots have been installed, including one which has been nicknamed “the Beast” by Ghent employees. This large robot, unique within Volvo Cars’ global manufacturing system, is used to lift lower car bodies to a conveyor belt close to the ceiling of the plant.
Ghent is one of two car manufacturing plants operated by Volvo Cars in Europe and has produced Volvos since 1965. Until recently it produced the first generation of Volvo’s best-selling XC60 mid-size SUV, while the Ghent plant also builds the V40 and V40 Cross Country small hatchbacks as well as the S60 and V60.
Volvo Cars’ other European plant is located in Torslanda in its home country Sweden. The company also operates two vehicle manufacturing plants in China, while a US plant is under construction in the state of South Carolina and slated for opening in the second half of 2018.
Volvo Cars’ new XC40 delivers a confidence-inspiring SUV designed for city living
Volvo Cars, the premium carmaker, will bring a new standard of safety and user experience to the small SUV premium segment with the launch of the new Volvo XC40 this autumn.
Developed around the challenges of modern city life, the XC40 aims to make the daily urban commute less stressful and more enjoyable, as drivers in the segment can now rely on the award-winning safety, connectivity and infotainment technologies known from Volvo’s acclaimed new 90- and 60 Series cars.
“The XC40 is our first car in this rapidly growing segment and has a clear focus on navigating today’s hectic city environments. Building on Volvo’s heritage as the leader in safety, the new XC40 will offer the best possible safety standards combined with an easy-to-use interface and convenient connected services,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive.
The new XC40 is Volvo’s first car out on its new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) and includes a range of ground-breaking technologies first introduced in its 90- and 60 Series siblings based on Volvo’s larger Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).
Volvo’s approach to safety and user experience builds on a philosophy it calls the Circle of Life: a constant improvement of standards and technologies, based on consumer insights and real life data.
Safety and driver assistance features offered on the XC40 include Volvo’s semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system, the latest generation of City Safety, Run-off Road protection and mitigation, Cross Traffic alert with auto brake and the 360° Camera that helps drivers manoeuvre their car into tight parking spaces. These and other technologies make the XC40 one of the best-equipped small premium SUVs.
“Modern city life presents complex challenges for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. With the XC40, we aim to reduce the so-called cognitive load on the driver. While our safety and driver assistance systems actively identify and mitigate potential conflicts, you as a driver can relax more and therefore enjoy city driving,” said Malin Ekholm, Vice President Volvo Cars Safety Centre.
While the starting point for each new Volvo is the most advanced safety and driver assistance systems, the new XC40 also benefits from the high levels of safety and infotainment found in its larger stablemates.
“We built a confident, easy-to-use and convenient everyday user experience based on real-life interaction and research, starting from our foundation of leading safety. The XC40 is a car for a generation of consumers that expect full connectivity. All screens have been optimised for a safe, easy and efficient interaction, to support active city driving,” said Ödgärd Andersson, Vice President Vehicle Software & Electronics at Volvo Cars.
“Like the larger XC60 and XC90 SUVs, the XC40 features Volvo’s connected Sensus infotainment system, centred around the now familiar large, portrait-oriented touchscreen. Easy to use and intuitive, the Sensus interface allows drivers to access a host of functions and services,” concluded Ödgärd Andersson
Volvo Cars declares the end of clutter inside the new XC40 small SUV
Volvo Cars today declares an end to a problem faced daily by drivers around the globe: a lack of suitable and functional storage space inside their car. With its innovative approach inside the new XC40 small city SUV, set to be launched in the coming weeks, Volvo Cars takes the lead in the small premium SUV segment in terms of space, storage and all-round functionality.
The highly anticipated XC40 from Volvo Cars will complete the company’s SUV line-up that also features the top-of-the-range large XC90 and the mid-sized XC60.
As part of the XC40’s development phase, Volvo Cars’ customer research team spent considerable time investigating how city dwellers around the globe use their car on a daily basis – and, more importantly, how they store their belongings in their cars. Customers were also asked how they would like to see the interiors of their cars improved.
It turned out that different regions and cities produced remarkably similar results, providing valuable input as Volvo’s designers got to work on the interior of the new XC40.
“As we spoke to people about how and where they store the things they carry with them daily, it was quite clear that most of today’s cars are falling short in this area. Phones slide around in the mid-console, takeaway bags are at constant risk of falling over and people fumble behind the wheel as they try to get service cards out of their wallets. We set out to solve these and many other issues we encountered,” says Louiza Atcheba, Model Brand Manager for the 40 Series at Volvo Cars.
For instance, in order to provide better storage space in the doors of the new XC40, Volvo designers chose a radical new approach. By moving speakers from the door and developing a world-first, air-ventilated dashboard-mounted sub-woofer, Volvo created enough storage in the door compartment for a laptop and a tablet, or a couple of water bottles.
“When we designed the tunnel the focus was not only on creating a nice design, but also to ensure that cup-holders can be used as cup-holders and that the design itself provides areas for coins, cards or charging cables. Another focus area was to make a usable space for your phone which offers wireless charging as well as USB ports,” said Conny Ewe Blommé, Senior Design Manager at Volvo Cars.
A small fold-away hook has been added to the glove compartment, allowing you to secure small shopping or take-away bags. Both front seats offer a storage space under the seat, large enough for a mini tablet or other smaller items.
The XC40 also offers slots for credit and service cards that can be neatly inserted into the dashboard, making them readily available when needed. In the tunnel console, under the armrest, there is a large storage area with room for a tissue box. A special, removable bin allows you to discard and quickly get rid of waste.
“In the trunk we have designed a smart floor system which can fold and separate your luggage and allows you to use the full luggage space without removing the floor from the car. The rear-seat electronic folding mechanism gives you a flat loading floor at the touch of a button,” says Conny Ewe Blommé.
The XC40 includes a fold-up trunk divider with two hooks to help secure shopping bags or other luggage, along with four load hooks that make loading luggage a simple task. A private locking storage compartment has also been added under the load floor.
“A lot we have done with the XC40 is based on extensive consumer insight. With the XC40, we declare the end of clutter, making sure that everything is within arms-reach but also out of sight. It’s about clearing the clutter so you can clear your mind,” concludes Louiza Atcheba.
Express your individuality with the new Volvo XC40 small SUV
With dozens of possible exterior and interior colour combinations, the choice of the individual is at the centre with the new colourful Volvo XC40, Volvo Cars’ first ever entry in the small premium SUV segment.
The highly anticipated XC40, set to be revealed shortly, will complete Volvo’s SUV line-up with a distinctive car for a distinctive driver.
The XC40 takes Volvo Cars into new areas and allows its designers the freedom to create a car that brings a vibrancy, individuality and playfulness the small premium SUV segment currently lacks.
“We wanted the XC40 to be a fresh, creative and distinctive member of the Volvo line-up, allowing its drivers to put their personality in their driveway. XC40 drivers are interested in fashion, design and popular culture, and often live in large, vibrant cities. They want a car that reflects their personality. The XC40 is that car,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Design Officer at Volvo Cars.
The XC40 offers a broader and more playful colour palette, making it the most expressive model in Volvo’s portfolio, reflecting the outgoing personalities of its drivers.
“Our customer research clearly showed that for the XC40 and for this segment, we needed a wider selection of colours and materials than we usually offer. As Volvo Cars has never designed a car like the XC40 before, we could start from scratch and give it energy and playfulness,” added Robin Page, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Cars.
Street fashion, city architecture, high-end designer goods and popular culture were all sources of inspiration as Volvo’s design team defined materials, patterns and colour options for the new XC40.
“We took inspiration for the XC40 colour and materials from many different sources, mixing them and putting them back together into something cohesive. What we created is a car with a tough attitude that feels fresh, energetic and confident,” said Ebba Maria Thunberg, Vice President Colour & Materials at Volvo Cars.
On the outside, a broad selection of possible colour combinations range from a solid, monochromatic theme, to dual compositions in vivid colours that lends themselves to self-expression, while the interior options deliver a truly youthful and premium feel.
New interior colour choices in the XC40 include a warm Lava Orange carpet, an Oxide Red upholstery and a range of new and distinctive trims and materials with designs inspired by urban architecture and cartography. Natural, felt-based carpets, headliners and door inserts deliver a modern touch.
“Our Momentum trim level is the most fashion-oriented of the line-up, with vivid exterior colour combinations, while the R-Design and Inscription trim levels reflect a more dynamic and premium feel,” added Ebba Maria Thunberg.
Volvo Cars to go all electric
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has announced that every Volvo it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business.
The announcement represents one of the most significant moves by any car maker to embrace electrification and highlights how over a century after the invention of the internal combustion engine electrification is paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history.
“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.”
Volvo Cars will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug in hybrid cars and mild hybrid cars.
It will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, three of which will be Volvo models and two of which will be high performance electrified cars from Polestar, Volvo Cars’ performance car arm. Full details of these models will be announced at a later date.
These five cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug in hybrid and mild hybrid 48 volt options on all models, representing one of the broadest electrified car offerings of any car maker.
This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor, as pure ICE cars are gradually phased out and replaced by ICE cars that are enhanced with electrified options.
“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Mr Samuelsson. “Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of 1m electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.”
The announcement underlines Volvo Cars’ commitment to minimising its environmental impact and making the cities of the future cleaner. Volvo Cars is focused on reducing the carbon emissions of both its products as well as its operations. It aims to have climate neutral manufacturing operations by 2025.
The decision also follows this month’s announcement that Volvo Cars will turn Polestar into a new separately-branded electrified global high performance car company. Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Cars, will lead Polestar as Chief Executive Officer.
Volvo S90 and V90 achieve top AEB Pedestrian safety ratings from Euro NCAP
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has cemented its position amongst the leaders of automotive safety innovation with its new S90 sedan and V90 wagon by being the first car maker to score a full six points in the Autonomous Emergency Braking for Pedestrians (AEB Pedestrian) test procedure and an overall 5 Star rating for both cars.
The S90 and V90 results surpass the best overall score of any model tested last year and now make Euro NCAP’s top-3 best performing cars ever all Volvos.
The result follows in the footsteps of the XC90, which was the first car from any manufacturer to score full points in the Euro NCAP Autonomous Emergency Braking Car to Car rear-end tests (AEB City and AEB Interurban). The S90 and V90 performed as expected in the 2017 testing cycle, achieving a full 5 stars, thanks in large part to the high level of standard safety equipment in the new cars.
“We work hard to ensure that our cars fulfil all safety requirements and pass all testing procedures that the ratings agencies develop. Our main focus is, and always has been, real-life safety. Autonomous Emergency Braking systems, such as our City Safety offer also represent a clear step forwards on our journey toward fully autonomous cars, which we see as a key element to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries,” said Malin Ekholm, Director of the Volvo Car Safety Centre at Volvo Cars Group.
Volvo’s success in the Autonomous Emergency Braking tests are a result of the advanced City Safety system which is standard in all new Volvo cars. City Safety works by identifying potential hazards on the road ahead, such as vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists in certain situations, day and night.
“Safety has always been our key priority at Volvo Cars. The S90 and V90 5 star ratings and maximum points in the AEB testing procedures underscores our ongoing commitment to delivering a safe, enjoyable and confident driving experience in our cars,” added Malin Ekholm.
The AEB Pedestrian tests by Euro NCAP are designed to check performance of pedestrian detection systems using three road crossing scenarios, all of which would result in a fatal collision if the AEB system did not intervene. The tests represent common and critical situations that frequently result in pedestrian casualties in the real world:
An adult runs into the road from the driver side of the vehicle
- An adult walks into the road from the passenger side of the vehicle (two tests are carried out for this scenario)
- A child runs from between two parked cars into the road from the passenger side of the vehicleVolvo Cars has a long held vision that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by the year 2020. The S90 and V90 are further proof of Volvo’s continuing investment in and commitment to automotive safety leadership.Note to Editor
- The Euro NCAP safety rating covers four different areas – Adult Occupant, Child Occupant, Pedestrian Protection and Safety Assist. Read more about Euro NCAP’s safety ratings at www.euroncap.com