Volvo's new owner has had second thoughts about developing a large, high-priced sedan.
Within hours of acquiring Volvo from Ford Motor Co. in August, CEO Li Shufu of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. said Volvo would offer a vehicle to compete with BMW's and Mercedes-Benz's most expensive sedans.
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 wrote in an e-mail to Automotive News. "However, short or midterm, Volvo Cars does not have such a model in the product plan."
In an interview after Geely's $1.5 billion purchase from Ford, 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 would have required a dramatic price increase for the Volvo brand. Today, Volvo's largest sedan, the 2011 S80 3.2, carries a U.S. sticker price that starts at $37,800, including shipping.
The lowest-priced Mercedes S-class sedan is a hybrid, the S400, which starts at $88,825, including shipping -- more than double the S80's price.
BMW's lowest-priced 7-series sedan, the 2011 740i, stickers at $71,525 including shipping.