New V40 launched in Geneva  is basis of second model currently being planned

New V40 launched in Geneva is basis of second model currently being planned

The start of V40 production at Volvo Cars' Ghent plant in Belgium will mean the end of the line for the C30. Meanwhile, another new model is on the way, to be based on the V40.

A Volvo Car Corporation (VCC) executive told just-auto at the Geneva motor show that C30 build would cease later this year after a five-year production run. Without the five-door bodystyle that is so popular in this segment (Audi A3 Sportback, Alfa Romeo Giulietta, BMW 1 Series), the C30 was always going to struggle and so it has proved.

Now, with the V40 (Project Y555) due for launch in the coming months, Volvo has accepted that the days of it attempting to sell a three-door car when the market wants a five-door are over: the V40 is a direct rival for the big-selling A3 Sportback, which is itself due for replacement later in 2012 (the three-door has just had its global debut at Geneva).

Speaking off the record, a VCC senior staffer has told just-auto that a second '40' vehicle was on the way (Project Y556), and with it, the end of production for the V50. This small wagon, as well as its S40 sedan counterpart, will continue to be built alongside the new V40 at Ghent for now, but neither will be directly replaced. Just how long the S40 will continue to be made in China remains unclear.

The second bodystyle for the '40' family is not yet known but logic suggests it will be either a sedan for China and certain other markets where such cars sell well, and/or a crossover version of the new V40, which would logically be sold as the XC40 and pitched directly at the Audi Q3.

The new V40 and all related derivatives are based upon an update of the same architecture which underpinned the C30. This is derived from that of the second generation Ford Focus.