CEO Håkan Samuelsson presents a green spin on Volvos sourcing strategy with the new S60

CEO Håkan Samuelsson presents a green spin on Volvo's sourcing strategy with the new S60

The new Volvo S60 saloon – to be launched in 2019 and made in the US – will be the first Volvo to be produced without a diesel engine variant.

Volvo says it highlights Volvo Cars' commitment to a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine, although diesel sales in the US - where it will be manufactured -  would have been low anyway. The car will not be made in Europe.

Volvo says all new Volvo models launched from 2019 will be available as either a mild petrol hybrid, plug-in petrol hybrid or battery electric vehicle.

"Our future is electric and we will no longer develop a new generation of diesel engines," said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars. "We will phase out cars with only an internal combustion engine, with petrol hybrid versions as a transitional option as we move towards full electrification. The new S60 represents the next step in that commitment."

Last month, Volvo Cars said it aims for fully electric cars to make up 50 per cent of its global sales by 2025.

The new S60, a premium mid-size sports saloon, is based on Volvo's in-house-developed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, which also underpins the company's award-winning new 90 series and 60 series cars. The S60's estate sibling, the V60, was launched earlier this year in Stockholm.

The S60 will initially be available with a range of four-cylinder Drive-E petrol engines as well as with two petrol plug-in hybrid versions. Mild-hybrid versions will follow next year.

Production of the new S60 will start this autumn at Volvo Cars' brand-new manufacturing facility outside Charleston, South Carolina. The Charleston plant will be the only manufacturing location for the new S60, meaning American-built S60s will be sold in the US market as well as overseas through exports.

Volvo began building the US plant in September 2015, with 'late 2018' announced as the date when it is scheduled to open. The factory is 56km/35 miles northwest of the port city of Charleston.

As for suppliers, Volvo told the media touring the plant's site in April 2017 that it expects roughly 40% of parts will be sourced from within North America. Gestamp Automocion, the metal-stamping Tier 1 which supplies BMW's plant in nearby Spartanburg, will provide body panels for the S60. The OEM has also signed supply contracts with Continental (tyres), Plastic Omnium (bumpers), Autoneum (carpet and insulation) and Lear (seating).

Volvo is now said to have downscaled its plans for S60 build to just 60,000 cars per annum. When the XC90 is added, combined annual production should rise to 150,000.