The new owner of Volvo Cars has had second thoughts about developing a large, high-priced sedan to compete with BMW's and Mercedes-Benz's most expensive sedans.
Last August, within hours of purchasing the company from Ford Motor Co., Li Shufu, founder and CEO of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group of China, said Volvo would develop a sedan to compete with the two flagship German models.
But no such sedan is planned.
“Mr. Shufu expressed a vision of where he would like Volvo to be in the future, and that vision includes a 7-Series and S-Class rival,” Volvo Cars CEO Stefan Jacoby said in an e-mail to Automotive News. “However, short- or mid-term, Volvo Cars does not have such a model in the product plan.”
In an interview after Geely's $1.5 billion purchase from Ford in August, Shufu said he wanted Volvo Cars to develop “more high-level cars that compete with the S class of Mercedes-Benz and the 7 series of BMW. … We need products to compete in that segment.”
The upmarket move for the Volvo brand would have required a dramatic price increase for the brand.
Today, Volvo's largest sedan, the 2011 S80 3.2, carries a U.S. sticker price that starts at $37,800, including freight.
The lowest-priced Mercedes S-class sedan is a hybrid, the S400, which starts at $88,825 with freight -- more than double the S80's price.
BMW's lowest-priced 7-series sedan, the 2011 740i, stickers at $71,525 including freight.