Volvo Cars Targets BMW With China Premium-Market Growth

Volvo Car Group will upgrade the model line-up with the aim of winning Chinese customers away from luxury-vehicle market leaders Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Audi AG.

“We’re presuming a premium strategy, as we only have a future as a high-price car producer,” Chief Executive Officer Hakan Samuelsson said today in a phone interview from Volvo Cars’ headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. Growth in the Chinese market will be helped as the carmaker, owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., adds three factories in the country this year and next, he said.

Volvo has been struggling to restore earnings since Geely bought the manufacturer from Ford Motor Co. in 2010 for $1.8 billion. The Swedish company set a target of breaking even at an operating level in 2013 as new models attract buyers, making up for a first-half loss before interest and taxes of 577 million kronor ($87.1 million) caused by volume declines and price cuts.

The break-even goal “is a very challenging and tough, but realistic, target,” Samuelsson said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angela Maier in Munich at amaier8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net

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