Sweden’s Volvo Car Group, now a division of China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co is already thinking about the expansion of export markets for the Chinese-produced long-wheelbase version of its popular S60 midsize sedan.
The company is scheduled to start sometimes later this year deliveries of the Chinese-built sedans to the United States and is now weighing whether to expand the exports towards new markets the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere, according to Chief Executive Officer Hakan Samuelsson. The new strategy comes just a week after official confirmation of the export plans to the United States, following numerous rumors and reports that the S60L, the long wheelbase version of the S60 sedan Volvo might be fitting for the American customers as well. The model started Chinese production more than a year ago in the southwestern China city of Chengdu. For the more pretentious US market, the name will be changed to Volvo S60 Inscription and Samuelsson added that initial delivery estimations by the Gothenburg, Sweden-based company range from 1,500 in 2015 to around 5,000 yearly from 2016.
When discussing the idea of using the China factory-produced models for other markets, besides the local one and the US, Samuelsson said “we rule out nothing, but it has to be something attractive for the customer and cost-wise it has to make sense,” during an interview with Reuters on the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show taking place in Detroit now. The company strides to increase its market share in the Asia-Pacific region and exporting the S60L/Inscription to the Southeast Asian countries might drive it up. Samuelsson also hinted that next to the S60 Inscription, Volvo is also internally discussing whether to do the same with an upcoming large Chinese-made strategic sedan that is underpinning a newly developed technical platform and known internally as the S90.