The launch of the Volvo XC90 is an important part of Volvo Car Corporation’s plan to achieve profitable growth year on year.
The initial worldwide target for the Volvo XC90 for its first calendar year is 50,000. 65 percent of these vehicles will be sold in North America.
"The new XC90 is redefining the premium SUV segment. It is the first in the next generation of SUVs. It offers a unique package, unmatched by any of our competitors. Judging by the number of pre-orders we have, 3,000 which is half the production this year, we have a success on our hands," adds Vic Doolan, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America.
New record year in North America
2001 was the 3rd consecutive record breaking year in North America for Volvo Cars with 134,937 sold vehicles.
"We are aiming for 200,000 cars per year in North America by 2005. So far, we have been growing in the right direction. But we really need an SUV to close the gap to 200,000 and that is the role the XC90 is going to play", says Vic Doolan.
The medium premium SUV segment is young. It was born in 1997 following the introduction of Mercedes ML. Since then the Lexus RX300, BMW X5 and Acura MDX have grown the segment and they are all main competitors for the Volvo XC90.
The segment is also growing rapidly and it is predicted to pass the 250,000 mark by 2005.
"The new XC90 enters this segment with great confidence. Recent clinics show that the customers see an SUV as a natural step for Volvo. It also complements the Volvo XC70 perfectly. They are different vehicles with different buyers so they won’t compete for the same customers", says Vic Doolan.
The task for the Volvo XC90 in the years to come is multi facetted: