BARCELONA, Spain -- Volvo is targeting U.S. sales of 28,800 in a full year for the redesigned XC90 crossover that goes on sale in May.
Volvo is heralding the crossover -- with new Scandinavian styling, a roomier interior and semiautonomous driving and safety features -- as the rebirth of the Swedish brand.
It is an essential model for Volvo, whose global sales rose last year but declined 7.9 percent to 56,366 vehicles in a U.S. market that expanded 5.9 percent.
The XC90 is the first vehicle Volvo has developed independently since it was sold to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. The seven-seat, full-size crossover uses a new flexible platform that will underpin most of Volvo’s future models and a new family of four-cylinder engines.
It also formally severs Volvo’s ties with former owner Ford Motor Co. The XC90 has no components from Ford’s parts bin.
“We are so confident about this car. It is truly everything we stand for,” said Bodil Eriksson, executive vice president for product marketing communications at Volvo Cars of North America. “It is the first of many remodeled Volvo cars. The XC90 is more Volvo than we have had in many years.”
Volvo plans to produce about 100,000 XC90s in a full year. The U.S. will be the biggest market, followed by China, Sweden and the rest of Europe.
Volvo’s U.S. target is considerably lower than its peak sales of 39,183 in 2004 for the first-generation XC90 that debuted in 2002 when there were fewer competitors.
Today, the XC90 must compete against five luxury rivals with substantially higher sales -- the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz ML and Infiniti X60 -- said Frank Vacca, product brand manager for Volvo Cars of North America. Acura sold 65,603 MDX crossovers last year. U.S. sales of the XC90 dropped to 3,952 in 2014.
The U.S. XC90 will be equipped only with all-wheel drive. The 2.0-liter turbo and supercharged engine generates 316 hp and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The XC90 also has a stop-start function. Fuel economy hasn’t yet been certified by the EPA but Volvo said it will be class leading. Prices, including shipping, start at $49,895 for the base Momentum model and rise to $55,495 for the range-topping Inscription model.
A 400 hp plug-in electric hybrid with a range of 25 miles on electric power alone goes on sale in the fall. Pricing hasn’t been released.