TOKYO -- Volvo Cars Japan is counting on new models, led by the XC90 premium SUV, to reverse its slipping sales. But relief won't arrive until late June.
The XC90 went on sale in Japan on May 8, priced from ¥5.55 million, or $46,250 at current exchange rates. But deliveries won't begin until June 21.
Volvo Japan is delaying the car's arrival as it waits for the 2004 model in hopes that any bugs in the all-new 2003 version will be worked out before the car goes to Japan's finicky consumers.
In addition to the XC90, Volvo is launching the S60 and V70R in Japan this year. Sales of Volvos, Ford Motor Co.'s highest-volume brand in Japan, are down 3.3 percent through April, to 4,944.
Volvo Japan aims to sell 1,000 XC90s in the remainder of 2003 and 2,000 in a full year.
The company expects to take some sales from higher-priced premium SUVs such as the Mercedes M class and BMW X5, which have sold at a pace of 1,500 a year each.
The XC90's price also puts it up against Japanese higher-end SUVs such as Honda's MDX, priced in Japan at $40,420, Toyota Motor Co.'s Land Cruiser, sold as the Lexus LX 470 in the United States, priced from $46,250, and the Harrier, or Lexus RX 300, priced from $23,420.