Report: Volvo CEO Says No To Flagship

Despite Volvo's attempt to aim for BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, CEO Hakan Samuelsson says that the brand will not introduce a full-size flagship. The executive maintains that there are no plans and no desire within the company to go any larger than the S80 and what can be supported by its new Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) platform.

Speaking with Automotive News this past weekend at the Shanghai auto show, Samuelsson said "We don't have any ambitions to go into a segment where we would compete with vehicles that have V-8 or V-12 engines. We don't believe it would fit our brand image."

Despite previously showing high-end concepts like the Concept You (pictured), Samuelsson's statement is in line with what Volvo has said recently – namely that the SPA platform has been optimized to exclusively use four-cylinder engines only. The first – and most likely largest – vehicle to be built on the SPA platform will be the 2015 XC90, which is due to be revealed next year. Unlike the first-generation model that offered five-, six-, and eight-cylinder powerplants over its lifetime, expect the new XC90 to use only four-bangers thanks to its SPA roots.

It's also expected that the next-generation Volvo S80 will be built on the SPA platform and may spawn a new V80 range-topping wagon, but for the time being the XC90 will sit atop Volvo's model hierarchy.

As Volvo Cars North America President and CEO John Maloney told us earlier this year, Volvo would not be "a Swedish German brand" and that it would do premium luxury "on its own terms. Volvo will continue to emphasize safety and longevity. … It will differentiate [from other brands] through design, versatility, and ease of use."

Do you think that without a flagship model, Volvo will be able to compete with the German luxury brands, or will it remain relegated to a second-tier-luxury status? Let us know in the comment section.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

Im a little nervous about this.  I have owned Volvo's for a number of years and currently own a XC90 V8.  It is a excellent luxury sedan and SUV combined.  While I think the next generation XC90 will be a great car I strongly believe Volvo would benefit to offer a high end sedan that represents the collective knowledge and expertise of Volvo.  And yes this high end sedan should offer at least a mid size (3.5 liter) six.  Right now most people see Volvo as a safe, tough, second tier luxury brand.  We know they have the capability to build a car that can compete at the high end but it doesnt.  As a result people see it as a uniquely Scandinavian, which is great, but missing the recognition as one of the worlds best.  This lack of recognition keeps the brand from excelling in sales.  Currently some of their products can sell for 50 - 55K range.  This is high end range, yet, Volvo offers no real high end car.  People, rather consumers, will pay top dollar for a product if they believe that product is proven or deserves to be in that price range.  For many consumers Volvo products are not proven to belong to this price range.  This can be linked directly to the lack of a high end, competitive luxury sedan.

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