GENEVA -- Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson says the automaker will add a compact crossover as its 40 series returns to the U.S. on a new architecture within three years.
"We will expand the 40 series with premium cars" and crossovers, Samuelsson said in an interview at the auto show here. Referring to the hot small crossover niche, he added, "We are aiming at that segment."
In addition, Peter Mertens, senior vice president for r&d, said Volvo will sell the full 40 series in the United States -- the sedan, crossover and station wagon.
"We will have the next-generation 40 cars absolutely in the U.S.," he said. "I think it was a mistake not having the V40, not being prepared for the U.S. It was a mistake, but it was in that time when the company was in extreme trouble."
Volvo completed its rollout of the 90-series large cars with the V90 wagon here, which followed the debut of the S90 sedan in Detroit. The XC90 crossover, already on sale, has proved a strong platform for Volvo to debut its plug-in hybrid powertrain as an option.
Mertens said that 20 percent of XC90s sold in the U.S. are plug-in hybrids, a rate that surprises Volvo. But, he added, plug-in hybrids are doing well in Europe, too, with a 10 percent rate in Germany "which is a super, super diesel market."
Mertens said Volvo foresees a "massive increase in take rates for plug-in hybrids, and I think it's about to take off now."