Volvo Car Group has unveiled its new XC60 SUV at the Geneva auto show. As Ciara Lee reports, it's the latest launch in a sweeping overhaul of its model line-up under Chinese ownership that will be key to driving sales and earnings ahead of a possible listing.
As the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it - or in the case of the Volvo XC60, just reinvent it. Launched almost a decade ago, the original XC60 has been the Swedish carmaker's best-selling model since 2009. It's showcasing the version at the Geneva motor show - the latest launch in a sweeping overhaul under Chinese ownership (SOUNDBITE) (English) VOLVO CAR GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE HAKAN SAMUELSSON, SAYING: "Already today that model is the best selling in Europe. It comes loaded with new technology and new features. So this will be our absolute best seller. I think thirty percent of the total Volvo volume was that car in the last year." And that's a big deal when you're a relatively small car maker competing in the fiercely competitive SUV market. The model features a semi-autonomous driver assistance system. And will be delivered with a range of powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid version. With production set to begin in April Volvo wants to expand in a market dominated by larger players such as Daimler. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MOTORING WRITER, SUE BAKER, SAYING: "Nobody wants a car now that will just go on a smooth tarmac. They want to do other things with it. Everyone has a sort of leisure lifestyle outside of work and the cars have to reflect what people want to do with them. And I think that is what SUVs are doing." After struggling under Ford, sales have risen sharply. But there's competition in the SUV sector at this year's catwalk of cars. Jaguar Land Rover has caused a stir with its Range Rover Velar. And the Opel Crossland X and the Citroen C-Aircross concept SUV are a sign of the projects they hope to achieve as one company.