Volvo Plans New BMW 1 Series, Mercedes-Benz A-Class Fighters for 2017 | Edmunds

Volvo Plans New BMW 1 Series, Mercedes-Benz A-Class Fighters for 2017


Just the Facts:
  • Volvo is developing a new family of premium small cars in partnership with its Chinese owner Geely.
  • The new range of cars will include a five-door crossover, a sedan and a hatchback, Edmunds has learned.
  • Geely will also have the chance to offer some of its products in the U.S., thanks to the new portfolio of cars.

GENEVA — Volvo is developing a new family of premium small cars in partnership with its Chinese owner Geely.

The new range of cars will include a five-door crossover, a sedan and a hatchback, Edmunds has learned.

Geely will also have the chance to offer some of its products in the U.S., thanks to the new portfolio of cars.

The Volvo/Geely family of cars will target the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

The project will also yield a range of similarly sized models for Geely, which sells a variety of brands in China.

The joint venture company enables both partners to achieve the necessary number of global sales to make the project viable.

This new compact Volvo lineup will be offered with gasoline, diesel, gasoline-hybrid and diesel-hybrid power options, all of them featuring Volvo's latest four-cylinder engine family, as well as front- and all-wheel drive.

The modular nature of the car's all-new architecture also allows for the development of a series of more affordable Geely-branded models employing less advanced engines, suspensions and convenience features.

The project is likely to see as many as five levels of complexity engineered into this wide family of cars, all of them featuring a high level of component interchangeability.

Project leader Mats Fagerhag characterizes this as a "plug-and-play" approach to engineering the project's various sub-systems, and their ability to comply with a wide variety of regional safety and emissions regulations.

Volvo and Geely have set up a new engineering joint venture to develop this so-called C-Segment Modular Architecture (CMA) vehicle family. Known as the China Euro Vehicle Technology (CEVT), its new engineering center was opened last year in Volvo's Swedish hometown of Gothenberg, but in a separate facility.

One reason for this is that Volvo's main engineering operation is already busy developing the next-generation XC90, XC60 and S60 families of SUVs and sedans.

Fagerlag will not say when the first CMA family model will be launched, but 2017 is probable. Because the first wave of models is being developed simultaneously for several brands and factories in Sweden and China, it's likely that a number of CMA models will be launched in quick succession.

Edmunds says: Volvo is losing sales right now and its appeal would certainly be improved with a new range of compact premium models, especially if they include a crossover and a sedan. But there will be a long wait for car shoppers before they arrive.

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