THE ALL-NEW VOLVO S60 - BUILDING THE FOUNDATION FOR "THE SPORTIEST VOLVO EVER"
In many endeavors there are defining moments that generate the stuff of legends. Imagine the surprised look on the face of Thomas Ahlborg, Project Director for the all-new Volvo S60, when he came to work one morning and was presented with a new assignment.
"The brief from the company's executive management was short and to the point," he says. "Create Volvo's sportiest car ever." For Ahlborg, who also served as one of the driving forces behind the first-generation S60, the responsibility for the development of the all-new S60 has been the most exciting challenge of his career.
The all-new Volvo S60 has its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 2nd. It makes its entry into one of the automotive world's toughest segments backed by an extrovert attitude never before seen in Volvo showrooms. The all-new S60 has been sculpted to move you - both physically and emotionally.
With the all-new S60, Volvo Cars is advancing its position in one of the car world's most competitive segments: CD Premium.
"The competition is razor-sharp and the customers know exactly what they want," says Volvo Cars President and CEO Stephen Odell. "The emphasis is on emotional stance, sporty design and dynamic driving properties. Success in this segment means a lot for the brand's image and we are convinced that the all-new S60 will be one of the strongest contenders."
Lightning strikes twice
The first generation S60 was launched in 2000. It soon became Volvo Cars' most popular model, enjoying worldwide acclaim and peak sales of 110,000 cars in 2002. As a testament to this success, there are approximately 600,000 S60s on the road today across the globe.
History may repeat itself if Ahlborg's defining moment resonates with consumers as expected. The initial annual sales target for the all-new Volvo S60 is 90,000 units. This time too, the car's customer base is spread unusually uniformly throughout the world. Europe (including Russia), North America, and the rest of the world will each account for about one-third of total sales. The five largest single markets will be the U.S., China, Russia, Sweden and Great Britain.
The all-new S60 is built at the Volvo Cars factory in Ghent, Belgium. The first cars will be delivered to European customers in September, with U.S. S60s arriving in late 2010. Pricing for the all-new S60 will be announced closer to the car's on-sale date in the U.S.
The all-new S60 is a Volvo that embraces contrasts. Its clear driver orientation makes it the ideal companion for the driving enthusiast. At the same time, it integrates high-tech innovation that helps it protect one of the most vulnerable road-users in modern traffic: the pedestrian.
Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake is a groundbreaking technological solution. It can detect pedestrians who walk into the road in front of the car, warn the driver - and automatically apply full braking power if the driver does not respond in time.
"Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake takes Volvo Cars' traditional care for the human being to a whole new dimension," says Ahlborg. "In recent years, we have introduced a number of solutions that help the driver avoid accidents with other vehicles. Now we are taking a giant step forward with technology that helps to increase safety for unprotected road users as well. As far as we know, we are the first car maker in the world to offer such a complete system."
Attention enthusiasts and pragmatists
In simple terms, car buyers can be divided into two main categories: enthusiasts and pragmatists. For the enthusiast, the car is a high-priority conversation topic that can never be exhausted. The pragmatist only shows interest in cars when it is time to replace his or her current vehicle with a new one.
In a historical perspective, Volvo's brand has attracted more pragmatists than enthusiasts. However, as each successive generation of Volvo models becomes increasingly emotional, that picture has changed. The all-new S60 is packed with all the ingredients from the enthusiast's favorite menu.
"Personally, I'm 100 percent delighted with the result," says Ahlborg. "The all-new S60 is an uncompromisingly sporty sedan. Every detail is in total harmony with the car's dynamic credentials."
"The number ‘60' in our model range now indicates our sportiest models," he says. "The XC60 was the first step. With the all-new S60, we are placing ourselves right on the car enthusiasts' radar screen.
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