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Volvo Says It Plans to More Than Double Vehicle Models in China

Volvo Car Corp., the Swedish carmaker owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., said it plans to more than double its number of models to compete with Volkswagen AG’s Audi and BMW AG in the world’s largest automobile market.

Volvo, which currently sells 6 models in China, is planning to introduce 10 new ones in the country within six years, including “bigger and more luxury high end” vehicles, as well as medium- to small-sized cars such as the V40 hatchback, Volvo said in an e-mail.

The new models are part of Geely’s plans to double sales to 800,000 cars globally in 10 years. Volvo, ranked fifth in luxury-car sales in China, intends to invest as much as $11 billion globally by 2016 to meet its expansion plans, Volvo Chief Executive Officer Stefan Jacoby said last year.

“We are going to make huge investments into development and facility construction in China,” Zhejiang Geely Chairman Li Shufu said in an interview in Beijing today. “I believe Volvo will meet its growth target in the world as well as in China.”

Gothenburg, Sweden-based Volvo, which Zhejiang Geely bought from Ford Motor Co. in 2010 for $1.5 billion, plans to sell 200,000 cars in China by 2015, compared with 47,150 in 2011, the company estimated last year. Volvo is also seeking government approval to build plants in the city of Chengdu, southwestern China, and a second factory in northeastern city of Daqing.

Volvo has been targeting to start local production in China in 2013. Still, the plan is subject to government approval, which is beyond the company’s control, Li said.

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