Volvo’s resurgence is by no means accidental but rather the result of meticulous planning and an specific investment in the brand’s core strengths. This started with the flagship 90 series, followed by the release of the XC60 medium-SUV and is soon to be topped off by the smaller S40 and XC40.
However, premium automakers - i.e. Volvo’s main rivals in Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz - have gradually moved into even smaller vehicles such as the A3, 1 Series, and A-Class. In response, the Swedish marque and it’s Chinese benefactors have readied a roadmap that includes a more compact model, and should manifest as the XC20, according to an Autocar report.
This new model is new territory for Volvo, who have not offered a small car in recent times aside from the C30 hatch, itself based upon the second-generation S40 sedan. A speculative XC20 would make an interesting rival for the newly introduced Audi Q2 and the MINI Countryman.
Because of their new modular CMA platform, which underpins all their current line-up of cars sans the stalwart V40 (which borrows from the Ford Global C architecture), Volvo is now free to experiment with new size segments and unique powertrain combinations. This, along with a new generation of petrol and diesel engines, paves the way for them to reach new customers at more enticing price points.
Volvo’s head of research & development, Henrik Green, told the UK publication: “It’s not a problem to have an XC20. The CMA platform can be made smaller,” adding that it’s much easier to vary the car’s length than its width.
Ask anyone involved in the automotive industry and it’s plain to see that the most solid growth segment of today is that of the compact SUV. For Volvo to truly flourish, it would most definitely need a strong product at this level, if not merely as the clearest path to access first-time customers to the brand. From there, should they make the right moves to encourage retention, their existing line-up of larger, more expensive models should do the rest.