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Volvo Is Preparing An EV Assault As Part Of Geely's Largest Product Revamp - Reuters

Volvo Is Preparing An EV Assault As Part Of Geely's Largest Product Revamp - Reuters
Volvo Cars is preparing for an electric blitz, converting all of its mainstay models - three SUVs and two sedans - to electric vehicles and introducing a luxury electric van aimed at increasing sales in Asia, according to two people familiar with the plans.
The Swedish automaker, which is wholly owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, is expected to launch at least six new battery electric vehicles by 2026, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Volvo has stated that its goal is to have its entire lineup fully electric by 2030. The company's Australia unit has stated that by 2026, it intends to sell only EVs in that market.
The previously unknown product plans represent the most significant overhaul of Volvo's model lineup since Geely acquired the brand from Ford Motor Co in 2010.
Volvo initially began to share technologies with Geely, such as car platforms.
The makeover for Volvo, a Swedish brand known for its safety and utilitarian design, is the result of a greater focus on customer trends in Asia and a push to win sales there, according to the people.
The two people with knowledge of Volvo's plans asked not to be identified because the company has not released any details.
There were no comments on the issue from Geely.
Among the new battery electric vehicles planned for the next four years is a Volvo-branded MPV or van based on a vehicle sold in China by Geely's Zeekr brand.
The hulking, battery-electric van, known as the Zeekr 009, has three rows of seating and starts at around 500,000 yuan ($74,179).
The vehicle competes with the Toyota Alphard, a business or family van with airplane business class-like seats for passengers that has proven popular as a limousine alternative in Asian markets such as China and Japan.
Volvo has relocated development work on sedans and the upcoming people-mover model to its Shanghai research and development center, according to the company.
According to one of the sources, that center, which has tripled its design staff to about 60 people, has recently relocated to a new and larger building in Shanghai.
The EX90 sport-utility crossover was the first of Volvo's new planned electric models, unveiled late last year. It is scheduled to hit dealerships in early 2024.
Other battery electric vehicles in the works include electric versions of Volvo's mainline products, including the XC90, XC60, and XC40 crossover vehicles, as well as the S60 and S90 sedans, according to sources.
The mainline cars will adhere to Volvo's established, simple design cues, but the new MPV will target buyers in China and other markets with a more "emotional" design based on the Zeekr 009, which features a massive, LED-illuminated grille, according to one of the sources.
Geely has purchased Volvo's gasoline engine and hybrid powertrain operations.
The Chinese automaker has announced plans to merge all of its gasoline powertrain assets, including those acquired from Volvo, with factories being carved out of Renault (RENA.PA) to form a new company focused on hybrid and gasoline engines.
According to Reuters, Renault and Geely are working to finalize a deal that will bring Saudi Aramco in as an investor and partner in the venture.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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