Volvo Aims to Halt U.S. Sales Slide With New Model Push

Volvo Car Group will roll out four models new to the U.S. in a bid to reverse last year’s drop in sales.

The newly engineered XC90 full-size sport-utility vehicle will arrive at U.S. dealerships by the second half of the year, along with cross-country versions of the S60 midsize sedan and V60 wagon, which take design cues from off-roaders. The Swedish automaker, acquired by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. in 2010, will also start importing a version of the S60 with about 3.5 inches of extra rear-seat legroom this year from its factory in Chengdu, China.

Volvo needs the flood of new models after its U.S. deliveries fell 7.9 percent last year to 56,371 vehicles. The manufacturer, famous for vehicle safety and Scandinavian design, has said it will spend $11 billion to renew its lineup and add production capacity in China.

“In 2015, we will see growth coming back to the U.S. market,” Chief Executive Officer Hakan Samuelsson said in an interview at the Detroit auto show today. “Volvo will continue to grow in China and Europe, plus the U.S.”

Though Volvo, based in Gothenburg, has been selling cars in the U.S. for more than two decades, China is its biggest market now. Deliveries there surged 33 percent to 81,221 vehicles last year.

Samuelsson said he’s expecting a growth rate of “clearly above” 10 percent for the brand in China this year, as Volvo will continue to gain market share, alongside growth in Europe.

The brand is aiming to increase deliveries to 800,000 vehicles by 2020 from 465,866 vehicles in 2014. Its target would still leave it far smaller than the global leader in luxury car sales, BMW AG, which delivered more than 2 million vehicles last year.

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