DETROIT SHOW: Volvo Cars 'back in the black'
Volvo Cars returned to profitability in 2013, according to Håkan Samuelsson, President & CEO of Volvo Cars, speaking at the Detroit Motor Show.
He said the company was "back in the black" and that 2014 would be characterised by a continued strong performance in China and a recovery and growth in volume in the US, its two largest markets globally.
In an upbeat address, he also said that Volvo Cars will introduce new technologies in 2014, a series of industry-leading innovations as well as launch the new XC90 as the full effects of an EUR11bn four-year transformation plan are felt.
He told journalists that much of the work that has been undertaken at Volvo Cars since the Swedish company was acquired by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding in 2010 has been leading up to this year.
The XC90 will be the first car to be built on the company's brand new, in-house developed SPA vehicle architecture and the first Volvo production model to carry the company's new design language, successfully showcased in the critically-acclaimed Volvo Concept Coupé and the Volvo Concept XC Coupé.
Powered by Volvo's Drive-E powertrains and prepared for electrification technologies, the all-new XC90 will also come with "user-friendly safety and driver support systems that underline Volvo Cars' safety leadership and human-centric approach".
Its new features include Pedestrian Detection in Darkness, which enhances the detection of other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists when driving in dusk or at night, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Steer Assist, a technology that helps the driver stay in the right lane and follow the rhythm of the traffic by automatically following the vehicle ahead.
"The all-new XC90 is the first car to be developed by an independent Volvo Cars and is emblematic of the company's transformation," says Samuelsson.
A key focus for Volvo Cars in 2014 will be to improve its sales performance in the United States, the company's largest market, with the company aiming to grow sales faster than projected total market growth.
"The United States is one of our two largest markets and we have a long history in the US," says Samuelsson. "We are committed to improving our sales performance in the market this year and bring the Volvo brand back to its former glory in the US."
In China, Volvo Cars will mark the first full year of local production in the new Chengdu manufacturing plant with new models like the S60L and a refreshed S80L as well as a further expansion of the dealer network.
"We delivered a very strong performance in China in 2013, and we intend to continue that trend this year and the prospects are good," said Samuelsson. "All in all, I look forward to 2014 with confidence."
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