Volvo Cars today declares an end to a problem faced daily by drivers around the globe: a shortage of suitable and functional storage space inside their car. With its innovative approach inside the new XC40 small city SUV, set to be launched in the coming weeks, Volvo Cars takes the lead in the small premium SUV segment in terms of space, storage and all-round functionality.
The highly anticipated XC40 from Volvo Cars will complete the company’s SUV line-up, which also features the top-of-the-range large XC90 and the mid-sized XC60.
As part of the XC40’s development phase, Volvo Cars’ customer research team spent considerable time investigating how city dwellers around the globe use their car on a daily basis – and, more importantly, how they store their belongings in their cars. Customers were also asked how they would like to see the interiors of their cars improved.
It turned out that different regions and cities produced remarkably similar results, providing valuable input as Volvo’s designers got to work on the interior of the new XC40.
“As we spoke to people about how and where they store the things they carry with them daily, it was quite clear that most of today’s cars are falling short in this area. Phones slide around in the mid-console, takeaway bags are at constant risk of falling over and people fumble behind the wheel as they try to get service cards out of their wallets. We set out to solve these and many other issues we encountered,” says Louiza Atcheba, Model Brand Manager for the 40 series at Volvo Cars.
For instance, in order to provide better storage space in the doors of the new XC40, Volvo designers chose a radical new approach. By moving speakers from the door and developing a world-first, air-ventilated dashboard-mounted subwoofer, Volvo created enough storage in the door compartment for a laptop and a tablet, or a couple of water bottles.
“When we designed the tunnel, the focus was not only on creating a nice design, but also to ensure that cupholders can be used as cupholders and that the design itself provides areas for coins, cards or charging cables. Another focus area was to make a usable space for your phone that offers wireless charging as well as USB ports,” said Conny Ewe Blommé, Senior Design Manager at Volvo Cars.
A small fold-away hook has been added to the glove compartment, allowing you to secure small shopping or takeaway bags. Both front seats offer a storage space under the seat, which is large enough to take a mini tablet or other smaller items.
The XC40 also offers slots for credit and service cards that can be neatly inserted into the dashboard, making them readily available when needed. In the tunnel console, under the armrest, there is a large storage area with room for a tissue box. A special, removable bin allows you to discard and quickly get rid of waste.
“In the boot, we have designed a smart floor system which folds and can separate your luggage, and allows you to use the full luggage space without removing the floor from the car. The rear-seat electronic folding mechanism gives you a flat loading floor at the touch of a button,” says Conny Ewe Blommé.
The XC40 includes a fold-up boot divider with two hooks to help secure shopping bags or other luggage, along with four load hooks that make loading luggage simple. A private locking storage compartment has also been added under the load floor.
“A lot we have done with the XC40 is based on extensive consumer insight. With the XC40, we declare the end of clutter, making sure that everything is within arm’s reach but also out of sight. It’s about clearing the clutter so you can clear your mind,” concludes Louiza Atcheba.
Volvo Car Group in 2016
For the 2016 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 11,014 MSEK (6,620 MSEK in 2015). Revenue over the period amounted to 180,672 MSEK (164,043 MSEK). For the full year 2016, global sales reached a record 534,332 cars, an increase of 6.2 per cent versus 2015. The record sales and operating profit cleared the way for Volvo Car Group to continue investing in its global transformation plan.
About Volvo Car Group
Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world, with sales of 534,332 cars in 2016 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.
As of December 2016, Volvo Cars had more than 31,000 employees worldwide. Volvo Cars’ head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars’ head office for China is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), Chengdu and Daqing (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China), and body components in Olofström (Sweden).