Volvo is ready to start on a supermini provided it can find a suitable partner who would be able to share a conducive platform that makes use of an electric or hybrid powertrain. The Swedish company is looking to deliver a better and affordable alternative that would fulfil the supermini segment.
Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo’s head of product planning, said that they need a partner who would be willing to share platform and parts along with a “guarantee of an electric or hybrid powertrain.” “We have no plans at the moment, but we all know the role of the B-segment is increasing in terms of sales and pushing down average emissions,” said Kerssemakers.
The company, with its owner Geely, are presently involved in the development of their own new platform architecture for their next generation of cars. They have got their Scalable Platform Architecture lined up for a 2015 launch, and this is supposed to take down everything from the next S60 to the range-topping next-generation XC90.
According to Kerssemakers, they have looked through possible joint ventures with partners, but when it went past the deadline without any progress, the company decided to go solo. “What’s clear is that we can’t afford that kind of investment for more platforms, but I cannot rule out partnerships,” he said.
Volvo’s V60 Plug-In Hybrid, which costs £48,775, will be chugging out in greater numbers next year as the global sales exceed the anticipated demand. Kerssemakers disclosed that Volvo expected to sell 5000 cars in Europe during the first year of sale, but the niche appeal and high price has fueled the demand for 10,000 annual sales.