Volvo Car Group at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show
Volvo Cars forecasts record sales of at least 80,000 cars in China in 2014
China is poised to replace the US as Volvo Car Group’s (Volvo Cars) largest market in 2014 with sales of at least 80,000 cars, up from 61,146 in 2013, highlighting the company’s growing presence in the world’s fastest growing automobile market. Sales in the US in 2014 are expected to increase in line with the broader market.
The emergence of China as Volvo Cars’ leading market represents an important step towards the company’s long term goal of selling 800,000 cars a year and promises to break a 20 year cycle during which it has consistently sold around 400,000 cars a year.
“Growing demand for first-class safety and environmental performance makes Volvo an ever more attractive brand in the Chinese marketplace,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO. “As a company at the forefront of technological and environmental developments, Volvo Cars is well placed to enhance its reputation as a premium brand and further strengthen its position in China.”
The premium segment of the car market in China is forecast to grow by 20 per cent this year. Volvo Cars expects to outpace this growth, indicating it is gaining market share from its competitors. Volvo Cars’ confidence is borne out by first quarter sales figures for the China market, which reveal sales rose 25.4 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2013, to 17,286 cars.
During the first quarter, the Volvo XC60 SUV was the best-selling model, followed by the S60L long wheelbase sedan and V40 hatchback. The sales start of the V40 Cross Country as well as an ongoing expansion of the dealer network will further support Volvo Cars’ continued growth in China.
The Volvo S60L Petrol Plug-in Hybrid
At the Beijing Motor Show, Volvo Cars also officially debuts the Volvo S60L Petrol Plug-in Hybrid (PPHEV), underlining its commitment to bringing electrification technology to China. The ingenious petrol plug-in hybrid – an electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car all rolled into one – offers the driver an outstanding combination of dynamic driving pleasure and superb fuel economy.
The S60L PPHEV features the same electrification technology as the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid, the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid, which has been a groundbreaking success in Europe.
“Creating a powertrain that offers 306 horsepower by blending a 238 horsepower petrol turbo from our new four-cylinder Drive-E engine family with a 68 horsepower electric motor, proves that the most efficient car can also be the most fun to drive. This is our most technologically advanced powertrain ever. It brings us closer to our vision to offer zero emission motoring in the future,” said Håkan Samuelsson.
The S60L Petrol Plug-in Hybrid, with an exceptionally CO2-efficient 238 horsepower Drive-E petrol turbo paired with plug-in hybrid technology, will be launched in China early 2015. The car will be built in the Chengdu plant, which already now produces the petrol-powered Volvo S60L.
Volvo Cars can now also confirm that the first car to be assembled in the Daqing plant in northeastern China will be the Volvo XC Classic, a locally-built variant of the current Volvo XC90, production of which in the Torslanda plant in Sweden will cease this summer. The XC Classic will be sold solely in the Chinese market after its launch later this year. Other models to be built in the Daqing plant will be confirmed at a later stage.
Volvo Cars to unveil the ingenious S60L Petrol Plug-in Hybrid at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show
Volvo Car Group (Volvo Cars) will reveal the Volvo S60L PPHEV (Petrol Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) Concept Car at the 2014 Beijing International Auto Show. The ingenious petrol plug-in hybrid – an electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car all rolled into one – offers the driver an outstanding combination of dynamic driving pleasure and superb fuel economy.
The production version of the S60L Petrol Plug-in Hybrid, with an exceptionally CO2-efficient 238 horsepower Drive-E petrol turbo and plug-in hybrid technology, will be launched in China early 2015 and will be produced at the Chengdu plant. As such, the car forms part of Volvo Cars’ plan to contribute to the development and spread of new automotive technologies in China.
“The creation of a powertrain with 238+68 hp and 350+200 Nm of torque by combining a petrol turbo from our new four-cylinder Drive-E engine family and an electric motor proves that the most efficient car can also be the most fun to drive. This is our most technologically advanced powertrain ever. It brings us closer to our vision to offer zero-emission motoring in the future,” says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research and Development at Volvo Cars.
The S60L PPHEV (Petrol Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) Concept Car features the same electrification technology as the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid, the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid, which has been a groundbreaking success on the European markets.
In the S60L, however, the diesel engine of the V60 has been replaced with a new, two-litre, four-cylinder petrol turbo from Volvo Cars’ new Drive-E engine family. It boasts 238 hp and 350 Nm of torque. Other key components in the super-efficient powertrain is a crankshaft-driven ISG (Integrated Starter Generator) between the engine and the 8-speed automatic gearbox and a 68 hp electric motor powered by a 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor of the load compartment.
CO2 emissions at 50 g/km
The driver selects the required driving mode via three buttons that give the car three entirely different temperaments: Pure, Hybrid or Power.
In the default hybrid mode, the carbon dioxide emissions are about 50 g/km. This corresponds to fuel consumption of just 2.0l/100 km.
At the touch of a button, the driver can also choose to cover up to 50 km on pure electric power – or use the combined capacity of the petrol turbo and electric motor to create a veritable driving machine with 238+68 horsepower, 350+200 Nm of torque and 0-100 km/h acceleration in 5.5 seconds.
“This on-demand possibility to choose between different driving modes makes the plug-in hybrid the perfect choice for the uncompromising customer who wants minimum carbon dioxide emissions combined with maximum driving pleasure,” says Peter Mertens. “The electric range covers the needs of most Chinese commuters, and the car has a total range of about 1,000 km in hybrid mode.”
The S60L PPHEV Concept Car can be recharged from a regular power outlet (230V/6A to 16A fuse) at home or in a car park. The recharging time varies with the amperage. A full charge with 10A takes 4.5 hours, while a 16A charge takes it down to 4.0 hours.
Instant All Wheel Drive
Pressing the AWD button activates the exceptionally responsive electric four-wheel drive. Instead of the mechanical power transfer of conventional four-wheel drive, the central control unit distributes power between the petrol-driven front wheels and the electrically driven rear axle.
The driver can also choose to save battery power for driving on pure electricity later, for instance, in the centre of a city in order to eliminate all tailpipe emissions.
The S60L PPHEV Concept Car is painted in a matt white crystal pearl colour, with contrasting black or blue details on the lower body and the seven-spoke wheels. The exclusive interior features hazel-brown leather with contrasting stitching on the seats, steering wheel, instrument panel and door panels. Chrome detailing and a blond colour theme above the belt line enhance the luxurious feeling.
Team Alvimedica see their new Volvo Ocean 65 hit the water
Southampton, UK - Team Alvimedica launched their new Volvo Ocean 65 boat on Friday in Southampton to herald six months of crew selections and hard training before the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 in October.
On the dock was Race CEO Knut Frostad who has fostered the dreams of two young Americans, Mark Towill and Charlie Enright, to launch a boat in offshore sailing’s toughest round-the-world professional event.
“This is a proud moment,” said Frostad. “Mark and Charlie remind me of me when I was their age – they have no fear and are just so hungry to compete in this race.
“They have overcome many, many barriers to reach this point having found the ideal sponsor for them but now, in lots of ways, the hard work is just starting.”
Enright and Towill’s success in securing a Volvo Ocean Race campaign already has a fairy tale feel – they first met as teenagers on the set of a Disney sailing movie seven years ago and vowed then to compete in the event one day.
“Today is a great moment for the both of us,” said Towill. “We’ve followed this dream all this time and for so long we didn’t think it would happen. We can’t wait to assemble our crew now and get in shape for the big start in October.”
The event at Southampton’s Green Marine boatyard also marked a major milestone for Alvimedica CEO Dr Cem Bozkurt who is fully backing the Turkey-based medical device company’s own dream of contesting the race.
“Our sailing team, initially made up of our employees, achieved significant success in a number of races after we identified sailing as our company’s sporting pillar two years ago,” he said.
“Now our target is to race with professionals in the premier league of sailing. We have set our hearts on the Volvo Ocean Race and we want to introduce Alvimedica to a broader public around the world using a challenging race which draws the attention of more than 1.5 billion people every edition.”
Alvimedica became one of Europe’s leading companies in the area of interventional cardiology after merging last year with CID, an Italian-based firm.
Now they have their sights firmly focused on the North American market and the global reach of the Volvo Ocean Race, which visits all continents of the world and 11 countries in total, suits those ambitions perfectly.
“We are in the Volvo Ocean Race because it is a sporting platform to express our worldwide business ambitions and reflects our corporate values and our passion.
“We're young, agile, we love challenges, we thrive on modern technology and we firmly believe that teamwork leads to better results. That is also the spirit of the Volvo Ocean Race.”
Towill and Enright have a very full agenda now that their one-design Volvo Ocean 65 has hit the water in an event witnessed by journalists from around Europe.
They will be trialing prospective crewmates later this month with the accent firmly on young talent from around the world. Towill and Charlie are both in their 20s and will be leading the youngest team in the race.
Once the eight-man crew plus an on-board reporter are recruited, Team Alvimedica plan some hard-core training in the lead-up to the opening in-port race in Alicante, Spain on October 4.
A highlight of their preparations will be a trans-Atlantic voyage to their home port of Newport, Rhode Island which will be hosting the Race for the first time in May next year.
A week after the Alicante in-port race, the fleet sets sail for the first leg of nine to Cape Town on October 11.
Volvo Unveils Revolutionary Inflatable Child Seat Concept, Explores Future of Child Protection
ROCKLEIGH, N. J. (April 14, 2014) -Children’s car seats are historically bulky, hard to move and tedious to mount. This is why Volvo Cars has designed a lightweight and inflatable rear-facing child seat concept using groundbreaking technology. The seat is safe, easy to pack and carry, and will enable parents to use it in many situations not practical with the seats on the market today.
Lawrence Abele, design manager at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center in Los Angeles, and the designer behind the new seat, had his two children in mind while designing the concept: “For me child safety is always the No. 1 priority and when we lived abroad with two toddlers we had to haul bulky child seats through airports and then into taxis. For many, traveling with young children is a challenge. Any assistance to simplify the parents’ life with young children is a great thing.”
The concept presents new opportunities, for example grandparents and friends who take care of your kids and need an ultra-mobile child seat. It is also very convenient when travelling by taxi, rental car or bus, situations where you historically had to rely on the safety measures available.
Inflates in 40 seconds
The seat has an innovative pump system that is silent and efficient in its construction. The seat inflates in less than 40 seconds and deflates with an integrated pump. The total weight of the seat less than 11 pounds, half the weight of a contemporary seat, and it is constantly online via Bluetooth, enabling a wide range of features, including remote controlled inflation. It fits into a weekend bag together with other necessities for your child.
Unique drop-stitch fabrics
“We used a unique material called drop-stitch fabric when creating the prototype of the seat. This fabric is very strong when inflated as it can be brought to a very high internal pressure. It is a quite common technology in the boating industry and was originally developed by the military in an effort to develop inflatable airplanes,” says Maria Hansson, project manager at Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center in Los Angeles.
The Inflatable Child Seat Concept faces the rear of the car, as it is the safest way for children to travel. A child's neck is not as strong as an adult's because it is still developing physically. In a frontal impact collision, the head of a forward-facing car occupant is thrown forward inducing great strain on the neck. Children, therefore, require special restraints and need to face the rear of the vehicle until at least 3 or 4 years of age.
Volvo Car Group Celebrates 50 years of Dedication to Child Safety
ROCKLEIGH, N. J. (April 14, 2014) - 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Volvo Car Group’s (Volvo Cars) dedication to protecting the smallest and most vulnerable car occupants. This groundbreaking work started with the world’s first rear-facing child seat prototype in a PV544 back in 1964 – and the latest innovation is an Inflatable Child Seat Concept that is easily tucked away in a small bag when not in use.
The differences in anatomy between children and adults form the foundation for Volvo Cars’ child safety developments both in terms of car integrated features and accessories. Children are not small versions of adults, which is why children need special restraints when travelling in cars.
“The basic principle remains the same as 50 years ago. The smallest children must always travel facing the rear until the age of 3 or 4. Older children should use a booster cushion or booster seat that makes sure that the lap belt is correctly fitted over the pelvis,” says Professor Lotta Jakobsson, senior technical specialist at Volvo Cars Safety Center.
Here are some of the most important milestones in Volvo Cars’ child safety history:
1964 First child seat prototype
Inspired by how astronauts travel rearwards, Bertil Aldman, medical doctor and subsequently professor in traffic safety at Chalmers University of Technology, developed the very first child seat prototype. Volvo was closely involved in the development and testing was carried out in a PV544.
1967 Reversible front passenger seat with special child backrest
The first child seat to be sold to customers was created by turning the front passenger seat around. Adding a padded backrest with straps made sure that the rearward-facing child was kept in place. The solution was sold as an accessory for the recently introduced Volvo Amazon.
1972 Volvo’s first rear-facing child seat
Rearward-facing child seats are designed to support the neck and help spread the force of a frontal impact over a larger area. Frontal impacts are the most frequent and usually the most severe impact situation.
1976 The booster cushion – a world first from Volvo
Children from 3 or 4 years and up travel facing forward using the standard safety belt with a belt-positioning booster cushion. Volvo Cars’ policy is that children should use a booster cushion until they are 140 centimeters tall and 10 years old. When using a booster cushion, the child runs about a 75 percent lower risk of being injured compared to being unrestrained.
1990 World’s first integrated booster cushion
The first integrated booster cushion was an ingenious fold down and out version in the rear center position in the Volvo 960. Double integrated pop-up booster cushions in the outer rear seats were introduced in the Volvo S40 in 1995.
1999 World’s first rear-facing seat for ISOFIX
The world-first solution for the standardized, car-integrated ISOFIX fittings was actually two rearward-facing seats in one. Both seats – one for infants and one for toddlers up to four years of age – could be fitted in the same ISOFIX frame.
2007 World’s first two-stage integrated booster cushion
Two-stage integrated booster cushions were introduced in the Volvo V70 estate. The two-stage version, with two sitting heights, enables a better belt fit regardless of the child’s size. Child adapted safety belt load limiters were also fitted.
2014 Inflatable Child Seat Concept
The innovation, which is still in the development stage, is easy to install and can be tucked away in a small bag when not in use. This means that the child seat can be easily transferred between cars and the bag even fits in carry-on luggage when flying or travelling.