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Old 10-05-2005, 06:36   #1 (permalink)
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EU:Volvo says cost cuts won't delay planned new-product launches

Volvo says cost cuts won't delay planned new-product launches

BRADFORD WERNLE | Automotive News Europe

Volvo Car Corp.'s cost cutting will not affect any of its product programs.

The Swedish carmaker has a busy launch schedule over the next several years.

It started with the debut of the C70 coupe convertible at the Frankfurt auto show last month.

In the first half of next year, Volvo will show the next-generation S80 sedan.

When the S80 arrived in 1998, it signaled a major departure for Volvo. The S80 showed that Volvos did not have to look like shoeboxes on wheels.

Every major model introduction since has featured the brand's new, more curvaceous look.

Following the S80 late next year will be the new C30, which will use elements of two concept cars. One is the Volvo Safety Concept Car introduced at the 2001 Detroit auto show. The other is the 3CC shown at the Michelin Challenge Bibendum rally in Shanghai last year.

The C30 will be a three-door hatchback based on the S40 platform. It will be Volvo's smallest car.

Volvo also is deciding whether to build a smaller SUV called the XC50 or XC60.

Volvo spokesman Olle Axelson says Volvo still plans to produce 600,000 cars a year. Volvo made about 460,000 cars at its three plants in 2004.

The bulk of Volvo's production is split between its factories in Torslanda, Sweden, and Ghent, Belgium. Volvo and partner Pininfarina S.p.A., the Italian coachbuilder, will make 12,000 to 15,000 C70s a year at Volvo's factory in Uddevalla, Sweden.
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