Production Of The All-New Volvo V40 Starts With A Warm Welcome From Forecasters
- Industry experts predict rock-solid residual values for all-new Volvo V40
- Fleets help with final positioning of V40 before July launch
- Specification, price, CO2 and engines plus Bluetooth as standard all designed with fleets in mind
The all-new Volvo V40 has received a warm welcome from the fleet industry just as it opens its order book. Leasing companies and future value guides who have already had detailed previews of the car are positive about Volvo's new five-door hatchback with residual values, demand and desirability all predicted as being strong.
As Selwyn Cooper, National Corporate Operations Manager, Volvo Car UK, explains, it relies more and more on fleet feedback and advice in the final 6-12 months prior to launch. "It is the most important car Volvo has launched in the past 20 years and much of its design, specification and technology have all been developed with the company motorist in mind," he said.
"Fleets are now an integral part of our final development of a car before its launch to ensure prices, specification and positioning are all where they should be. This positive feedback from the industry is vital as our brand tries to improve its foothold in the corporate sector," he added.
Andrew Mee, Senior Manager Pricing Risk, Lex Autolease said: "We believe the car will be a success, and our residual value forecasts are at a similar level to VW Golf, ahead of the current Audi A3 Sportback, and just behind the new BMW 1 series.
"The V40 is an attractive model which provides an improved driving experience over any previous Volvo. The suspension offers control without feeling overly firm. Refinement levels are good, complemented by a high quality interior with the usual comfortable Volvo seats," he added.
Highlights include Volvo's pioneering low-speed collision avoidance system, City Safety, plus world-first pedestrian airbag technology, along with Bluetooth hands free telephone system - fitted as standard on all specifications.
Denis Keenan, Managing Director KeeResources said: "The 1.6 D2 115hp engine with CO2 emissions of 94g has a strong Whole Life Cost argument. The V40 is a desirable car and with very low initial volumes, we predict RVs will exceed its direct competitors by some margin. Even when full volumes come on stream, this is a car that will maintain its position due to its desirability factor.
"What makes the car stand out, though, is its very individual looks and it is a fantastic drive, providing true Volvo comfort with an exceptional chassis. In our terms, it is the most compelling package currently available in the Premium Lower Medium Sector. Add in a beautiful build quality, obvious in every aspect of the V40, and the car feels a full rung above the majority of its peers."
Jim McNally, Head of Pricing at Alphabet (UK) Fleet Management said: "The new V40 is naturally going to compete with A3, 1-series, new A-Class and Lexus CT. From an RV perspective we believe it will be pretty strong, certainly not far off A3 or BMW 1 series. From the initial launch we see the D3 SE as the volume model in the fleet sector."
CAP's Monitor Editor - Cars, Jeff Knight, said: "The sector is very competitive and for the first time Volvo has produced a car that aligns directly with other key rivals so we can make true comparisons between V40 and its competitors. It's well built, modern and its residuals are on par with the current Audi A3 and the VW Golf."
Dealers are already taking orders for the all-new Volvo V40, months before the first cars will arrive in the UK, while their showrooms will be open on the weekend of 21st/22nd July to showcase this important car to their customers. Customer deliveries are expected to start in September.
America's Read Guides PUMA To Stunning Miami Victory
American skipper Ken Read led his PUMA team to a second consecutive leg win on Wednesday, arriving on home soil in Miami triumphant following an epic 17-day match race with closest rivals CAMPER to confirm they are back in contention for overall victory.
Since the heartbreak of the first leg, in which their yacht Mar Mostro dismasted, PUMA have been on the up – and after scoring their first offshore success in Leg 5 from Auckland to Itajaí, Brazil, they made it two in two with glory in Leg 6.
After coming off best in an intense battle for first place with CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, who at one point closed the gap to less than a mile, Read said his team were back in the fight for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 trophy.
"That was about as stressful as it can get, believe me," Read said. "It was touch and go, and the guys on CAMPER sailed very well, but I couldn't be more proud of our team -- they did an unbelievably great job."
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG crossed the finish line at 18:14:00 UTC, 17 days after leaving from Itajaí, Brazil, with CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand around an hour behind PUMA and on course to take second.
PUMA dominated the 4,800 nautical mile leg from the start, only surrendering the lead on two occasion to CAMPER and for no more than 48 hours.
A fast start to the leg in fresh conditions saw PUMA lead out of Itajaí and into several days of fast sailing up the Brazilian coast.
As winds eased the fleet split into three groups, with CAMPER and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing closest to the shore enjoying two days at the head of the pack, while Team Telefónica and Groupama sailing team opted to head east in search of better breeze. PUMA split the difference and it paid as they got a jump on their rivals that would lay the foundations for their eventual win.
With the south-east trade winds providing near-perfect conditions for the Volvo Open 70s, a drag race began up to the Equator and through the Doldrums, which presented little problem for the fleet. But 10 days into racing, PUMA were nearly undone by storm clouds which stalled the leaders, allowing CAMPER and Telefónica to reel them in to just six miles.
Into the Caribbean Sea they enjoyed fast sailing once more until they hit tricky weather systems that once again saw the leading boats compress. Despite coming under fire from CAMPER right up until the very last minute, faultless sailing saw PUMA defend their lead to claim the win.
It’s the fourth time in six legs that PUMA have finished on the podium, and they pick up an invaluable 30 points for the leg win to take their overall tally to 147.
CAMPER will be awarded 25 points for second place, their best result in the offshore series since Leg 2 from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi when they finished second behind Team Telefónica.
"It's been a long leg and PUMA have sailed very nicely, they have defended very well, but I think we have attacked well too," CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson said as his team closed in on the finish line. "I'm pretty happy with how it's gone. We're in better shape now for the next leg."
Both teams will close the gap on overall leaders Telefónica, who were still scrapping it out for the final podium position with Groupama sailing team.
The current ETA for the arrival of Groupama and Telefónica is 0300 UTC, with fifth-placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing expected to arrive at 0800 UTC.
Volvo Car Corporation profitable in 2011
Volvo Car Corporation recorded an Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) of 1 636 MSEK in 2011. Sales improved by 20.3 percent, to 449 255 units.
"I'm pleased looking back on our achievements during the past year. Our sales situation is positive and we have started the journey of turning the company into a successful luxury car brand. At the same time, we remain exposed to external factors and need to maintain focus in implementing our plans to secure sustainable profitability for the future", says Stefan Jacoby, President & CEO.
Financial report 2011
Volvo Car Corporation aims to be open and transparent around the business results. An annual and an interim financial report will be issued to disclose financial information and the business performance of the company. It contains CEO comments, a summary of the business and market development, as well as financial statements for the full-year and six-month period. The full 2011 Financial Report is available for download in PDF format here.
Full year 2011 results
A strong product and market mix contributed to a revenue of 125.5 BSEK and an EBIT of 1 636 MSEK for 2011. Profitability was mainly affected by increased research & development costs and industrial capacity to support expansion plans and the new product strategy, in particular in the second half of the year. Additionally, unfavourable exchange rates and higher raw material prices affected results negatively.
Retail sales in 2011 increased by 20.3 per cent to 449,255 units. Significant growth was recorded in all sales regions, with China demonstrating an increase of 54.4 per cent over 2010. US grew by 24.7 per cent, Sweden by 10.5 per cent, and Europe improved by 10 per cent compared to 2010. Market shares improved in all major markets compared to prior year.