VIBRANT DESIGN AND DYNAMIC DRIVING APPEALS TO YOUNGER BUYERS
The all-new Volvo S40 is 2.2 inches shorter than its predecessor - yet it has grown in terms of product content, competitiveness and interior volume.
"We have a long history in this sedan segment. We have upgraded our cars continuously; from the Volvo 340, via the Volvo 440/460 and then the present Volvo S40/V40. Now, we are convinced that the all-new Volvo S40 will make us grow even stronger over the next few years," says Volvo Cars President and CEO Hans-Olov Olsson.
"The new Volvo S40 combines an exciting design with exceptional road manners, making the new S40 a highly potent challenger in this segment," adds Hans-Olov Olsson.
Expanding the brand further down the age spectrum is an important part of Volvo Cars' strategy - and it is particularly important that the new S40 appeals to young buyers.
"We want to attract customers into the Volvo family as early as possible, and the all-new Volvo S40 will definitely attract younger buyers," comments Hans-Olov Olsson.
Average age of 35 in the USA
The accelerating rejuvenation process is most noticeable in the USA, where Volvo expects one-third of purchasers to be men or women without children. The average age of S40 buyers is expected to be around 30-35 years, which is low compared to the competitors.
"For a European car, this is a very low figure. It emphasizes our conviction that our new, exciting sedan has a youthful appeal," says Hans-Olov Olsson.
In Europe, the customer group will be somewhat older, with a quarter of sales going to pre-family buyers. In Europe, more men than women will buy the S40 compared with the USA, where the proportion of male and female buyers is expected to be more or less equal.
Annual target 70,000 cars
The all-new Volvo S40 will leave the factory towards the end of this year, and the annual sales target for 2004 is 70,000 cars.
By far the largest single market will be the USA, whose target for 2004 is 28,000 cars in the Volvo S40 series. This will be followed by Sweden (5,000), Britain (4,000), Germany (4,000) and Spain (3,000).
More for your money across the entire line-up
The all-new S40 comes with a raft of standard amenities including air conditioning, power windows and door locks. Most of the options that can be specified on the larger Volvo S80 and S60 are also available to buyers of the new Volvo S40. This applies, for instance, to the navigation system and the DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) anti-skid system. All-wheel drive, a first for the S40, will be offered as an option in mid-2004.
There is more refinement as well. The transversely mounted 5-cylinder engines offer improved packaging efficiency and more power in the T5 model. Inside, there's more interior room than the previous S40, and convenience options such as HomeLink and an integrated compass are now offered.
Built in Belgium
The all-new Volvo S40 will be built at the Volvo Cars factory in Ghent, Belgium. Volvo's production operations in Born in the Netherlands cease with the phasing out of the previous Volvo S40 and V40 models.
Volvo Cars has invested $387 million in the Ghent factory, which when fully extended will be the company's largest production plant with an annual capacity of 270,000 cars.
The new Volvo S40 is the first in a range of new Volvo models sharing common technology. Next in line is the Volvo V50, a sports wagon that will reach showrooms in the second half of 2004.
In addition to the new Volvo S40 and Volvo V50, the Ghent factory will also build the Volvo S60, while the production of the Volvo V70 will be moved to the Torslanda factory in Göteborg, Sweden. The Volvo XC70, Volvo S80 and Volvo XC90 are also built in Torslanda.