Spied - Volvo XC40 - Volvo India's game changer in 2013
Kaustubh Shinde, They say sooner or later your passion finds you. Sometime in late 2009, I started writing for IAB and ever since then it has been a roller coaster ride for me. An amazing experience that has taught me a lot, taken me to new places, driven some great cars and met some amazing people. When you don't find me on IAB (very rarely), you will find me either at a coffee shop or an eatery or at the nearest gadget store. Hope you enjoy IAB as much as we do!
As luxury manufacturers become more mass market, smaller and more innovative products are flooding the market. The BMW X1, a cross between a sedan and an SUV, is the best example of these new innovative products. It made Mercedes and Audi go back to the drawing board to make their own competitors.
But this is not just a German battle for supremacy. The Swedish automaker Volvo also wants a piece of the pie.
Volvo has developed the XC40 compact SUV based on the V40 hatchback. Instead of creating an SUV on the platform, Volvo has taken a low-cost, less-time approach of adding skirts and off-road dressing to the V40. From what see and read, the XC40 is like an ‘All Track’ version of the V40.
Volvo XC40 Features
- Redesigned front bumper
- New fog lamps
- Increased ride height
- Plastic body cladding with aluminum accents
- New alloy design
- Roof rails
We can expect a range of petrol and diesel engines under the hood. The predictions doing rounds on the internet are:
- A turbocharged 1.6-liter petrol engine with 150 hp
- A 2.0 liter naturally aspirated petrol engine with 240 hp
- Dieselheads will get a 155 hp engine
The Volvo XC40 will come in front-wheel-drive. All-wheel drive will only be available on the top variants. The XC40 will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September.
The XC40 will be instrumental in Volvo India’s upfront march against the Germans. Volvo has set up a target of becoming the top 3 luxury manufacturer in India by 2020. The long-term vision is of achieving a 15% market share and 20,000 units annual volumes out of India. The company may have existed in Indian domain since 2007 but with hardly any presence. Currently, Volvo has four vehicles in its portfolio - XC90, XC60, S80 and S60, out of which two models are outdated.
Keeping an aggressive price tag despite completely importing their cars is the current strategy for India. However, this strategy is not sustainable in the long run. The company is now looking forward to a facility at Sanand in Gujarat, or Chennai in Tamil Nadu, according to media reports, to assemble locally.
A volume product such as the XC40 will bring the much required help to achieve the target. Volume models are becoming vital to taste success in India. All three Germans have at least one in their portfolio. Mercedes are considering as many as four cars to gain market share in the next five years. Volvo India needs the XC40 to perform some magic for them to meet their targets in 2020.