Volvo is counting on a bigger, safer and more technologically advanced redesigned XC60 to match or exceed the success of its predecessor, which is the brand's global best-seller.
“The hope is to do that [outsell the first-generation model],” Karl-Johan Ekman, vice president of Volvo's midsize vehicle line, told Automotive News Europe ahead of the XC60's debut at the Geneva auto show on Tuesday. “We are in a very ambitious mode right now and we want to move the company to the next level.”
The XC60 is crucial to Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson's plans to set a fourth consecutive all-time high for global sales in 2017.
"We have high expectations for this car," Samuelsson told reporters on the eve of the Geneva show. "This car is a very important element of our future growth plan and for our profitability."
The Swedish automaker aims to boost worldwide volume to 800,000 vehicles by 2020 and increase operating profit margin to 8 percent from 6.1 percent last year. The XC60, Volvo's top-selling model in Europe and the U.S., accounted for 30 percent of the automaker's 534,332 worldwide sales in 2016.
"The new generation is expected to continue the current generation’s success, or replicate the good results of the XC90 in the premium large SUV segment," JATO analyst Felipe Munoz said prior to the unveiling. "Our forecast indicates that it will lead the European premium midsize SUV segment next year."