GENEVA -- Volvo is counting on four refreshed nameplates and a new safety feature to help sustain sales until the brand can launch a more complete overhaul of its lineup in a few years.
Volvo introduced refreshed exteriors and interior improvements for the compact S60 sedan and XC60 crossover, as well the larger S80 sedan and XC70 wagon, at the Geneva auto show today.
The four nameplates accounted for 51 percent of Volvo's global volume last year and will carry a huge sales burden until 2015 when the company's redesigned XC90 crossover goes on sale.
The XC90, which is 10 years old, will be the first vehicle developed entirely under Zhejiang Geely Holding Group -- the Chinese company that acquired Volvo from Ford Motor Co. in 2010.
The change in ownership and global sales downturn forced Volvo to delay product programs at the same time that many rivals have expanded their car and light truck lineups.
Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson last month lamented the decision to postpone a makeover of the flagship XC90 until 2015. The XC90, Volvo's top-seller worldwide as recently as 2007, is also among the automaker's most profitable nameplates.
But sales of the crossover slumped 21 percent last year to 31,290 from 39,631 in 2011.
Volvo's 2012 worldwide sales slipped 6 percent to 421,951, largely reflecting the slump in Europe but also an aging product and smaller lineup.