Volvo XC90 receives top five star rating in Euro NCAP assessment
The Volvo XC90 has been awarded five stars and achieved top ratings in its 2015 Euro NCAP tests. The XC90 with standard City Safety technology stood out as the first car from any manufacturer to score full points in Euro NCAP Autonomous Emergency Braking Car to Car rear-end tests (AEB City & AEB Interurban).
“This is further proof that with Volvo XC90 we have developed one of the safest cars in the world. In fact we scored one hundred per cent in the Safety Assist category. From an industry perspective Volvo Cars remains the leader in car safety innovation and miles ahead of the competition with our standard safety offer,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Car Group.
One hundred percent in Safety Assist
The XC90 scored one hundred per cent in the Safety Assist category and is also the first model achieve maximum score in the two Autonomous Emergency Braking tests AEB City & AEB Interurban. The XC90 also features advanced pedestrian protection functionality that independent safety regulators have yet to include in their testing protocols, demonstrating once again how the Swedish carmaker continues to dominate and innovate in the field of car safety.
“We are the first car manufacturer to surpass the criteria that Euro NCAP have applied to the AEB Interurban and City testing procedures. City Safety is one of the most advanced standard crash prevention offers you can find in a modern car. It addresses vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in certain situations, day and night,” said Martin Magnusson, Principal Engineer at Volvo Car Group.
With Volvo Cars’ long held Vision 2020 the Swedish carmaker aims to deliver cars in which no one is seriously injured or killed by the year 2020. The XC90’s clear five star results in Euro NCAP’s testing is a clear indication of Volvo Cars’ continued innovation with the ultimate goal of creating cars that do not crash.
Huge demand for top of the range Volvo XC90
Three quarters of the orders for Volvo’s new XC90 are for the top of the range Inscription model, Volvo Cars has announced.
Volvo Cars also said it has received nearly 57,000 orders globally for the new XC90, outstripping forecast sales for this year of 50,000. The company is running three shifts at its plant in Torslanda, Sweden, to meet demand.
“With 76 percent of customers choosing the top end Inscription model, it is fair to say that we have now entrenched our position as a premium car maker,” said Alain Visser, Senior Vice President for Marketing Sales and Customer Service.
The new XC90 marks the beginning of a new chapter in Volvo’s history, capturing its future design direction, incorporating its own range of new technologies and utilizing its new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) technology.
The latest update on sales for the XC90 came as Volvo reported its financial results for the first half of 2015.
The company reported an operating profit of SEK1,660m for the first half of 2015, compared to SEK968m* for the same period in 2014. Revenue for the first half was SEK75,215m, up from SEK66,982m* in the first half of 2014.
Volvo is investing in a global transformation as part of its long term strategic ambition to enhance its position as a global premium car maker. Driven by the complete renewal of its product range, Volvo is aiming to almost double sales to around 800,000 cars a year in the medium term.
In the first half, Volvo also announced it will build a new manufacturing facility in South Carolina. Construction on the $500m plant near Charleston will start this fall and the new facility will have initial production of around 100,000 cars per year and be completed by 2018.
Volvo Cars acquires control of its China joint ventures for SEK2.2bn
Volvo Cars has taken control of its three joint venture operations in China for SEK2.2bn in order to more accurately reflect its growing presence in the world’s largest car market.
Volvo Cars now owns 50 per cent of its China joint ventures alongside Geely Holdings. These joint ventures include its car manufacturing facilities in Chengdu and Daqing, its engine manufacturing facility in Zhangjiakou and its research and development centre in Shanghai.
The move allows Volvo to fully consolidate its China joint ventures, providing a more accurate financial and operational picture of the company as it continues to expand in China. The company’s interim financial results announced today are the first to incorporate the China joint ventures.
“The incorporation of the Chinese entities is an important step towards the long term objectives to capture the growth and sourcing potential in China,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive.
Volvo Cars buys 100 per cent of Polestar
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has acquired 100 per cent of Polestar, the Swedish high performance car company, including the Polestar brand. Polestar will now be used as the model name for special high performance Volvos.
Polestar will also in future utilise Volvo’s twin engine electrification technology to develop next generation performance cars.
Volvo is the largest manufacturer of plug in hybrid cars in Europe and leader in advanced vehicle electrification technology. Volvo currently develops and manufactures some of the most powerful, most environmentally-friendly hybrid engines in the automotive industry.
Volvo and Polestar share a long history. They have been working in motor sport since 1996 and in recent years signed a cooperation agreement to jointly develop Polestar versions of Volvo cars that combine a comfortable Volvo driving experience with a very high level of power and handling.
“Driving a Volvo Polestar is a special experience. We have decided to bring this experience to more Volvo drivers, placing the full resources of Volvo behind the development of Polestar as the model name for our high performance cars,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.
In 2015, Volvo expects to sell 750 Polestar versions of the V60 wagon and S60 sedan globally. Polestar sales are forecast to increase to between 1,000 and 1,500 cars a year in the medium term under Volvo’s ownership.
The Polestar brand is already firmly established internationally through the sale of Polestar-branded Volvos. Volvo will also benefit from the sale of aftermarket Polestar performance optimisation kits for existing Volvos.
No financial details of the deal have been disclosed. Existing Polestar Performance employees will become Volvo employees.
The Polestar racing team will remain under the control of Christian Dahl, the former owner of Polestar, and will be renamed. The Polestar brand will continue to work alongside Christian Dahl.
“We are extremely satisfied with the way the performance business with Volvo has developed. But we are a racing team first and foremost. This is an opportunity to return our full attention to our core business – to develop and race Volvo cars,” said Christian Dahl.
Volvo Cars adds a little luxury with Excellence Child Seat Concept
Volvo Cars’ design team has completely re-imagined how children could travel safely in cars in the future. The move follows the Shanghai reveal of the XC90 Excellence and the Lounge Console Concept, which marked a bold and luxurious step forward for the Swedish car brand.
“We started by asking ourselves if we could make life easier for parents and safer for their children when it comes to the child seat experience. We focused on three key benefits – making it easier to get the child into and out of the child seat from an ergonomic and comfort perspective, providing the child with a safe rearward facing seating position that enables it to keep eye-contact with either the driver or the rear passenger and of course including enough storage for those vital child accessories, such as diapers, bottles, wipes, and so on,” said Tisha Johnson, Chief Designer Interiors at Volvo Cars Concept and Monitoring Centre.
According to Tisha Johnson the idea originated in a conversation with Volvo Cars’ owner Li Shufu when he reviewed the XC90 Excellence Lounge Console Concept earlier this year and thought about how else the space left by removing a front passenger seat could be used. The design team at Volvo Cars took on the challenge and in the process re-imagined the way in which small children can travel.
The resulting concept enables the parent to swivel the seat counter-clockwise when seating the child and then lock the seat in a rearward facing position. The concept also provides storage for small items beside the seat and a storage space underneath for diapers, blankets, or other larger items and enough space for a tote bag at the front of the seat under the dashboard.
The Excellence Child Seat Concept, which also provides a function to help small children safely lean back and sleep, is based on Volvo’s clear safety position; that small children should travel rearward facing as long as possible (at least up to the age of 3 or 4). This is primarily due to the lack of muscular strength in the necks of small children and the disproportionate head size and weight* in relation to the body.
“For us the safety, convenience, and emotional factors outweigh everything else. Being able to maintain eye contact with your child from the rear seat , or being able to keep a bottle warm in the heated cup holders in the XC90 Excellence, would go a long way towards making life easier for parents taking their small child on a trip. Such alternative seating arrangements will become increasingly important as we move towards autonomous vehicles,” added Tisha Johnson.
The Excellence Child Seat Concept is a clear example of how Volvo Cars’ Design Team is meeting the challenge of adding a luxury touch to the Swedish car maker’s portfolio.
“We have been investigating the nature of progressive luxury for some time and we see a direct connection between luxury and emotional wellbeing. So we have taken the next step in redefining how the interior of a car can be used to suit our customers’ needs. We have always placed a great deal of importance on child safety, but this takes things to the next level,” concluded Tisha Johnson.