Volvo prepares for next XC90
Ceases production of current model after more than a decade
Almost 12 years and over 6.36 lakh units later, Volvo’s best-selling SUV, the first-gen XC90’s production has finally ended. Today, July 11, 2014 the last of the current XC90 left the company’s main Torslanda factory at Gothenburg, in Sweden and headed to the city’s Volvo Museum.
The current XC90 broke cover in 2002. It was the first full-size SUV from Volvo and one that re-looked the way SUVs were made at that time. Being a bit late to the party than rivals allowed Volvo to bring in a host of features that SUV owners yearned from cars at that time. So the XC90 was, arguably one of the first SUVs to offer car-like steering effort and a capability to have a full flat loading area.
Not surprisingly, the XC90 was among the first to introduce Roll Stability Control and Roll Over Protection System, which provided the tall SUV with amazing stability. It also brought in the concept of curtain airbags for all and seatbelt tensioners.
The XC90 has been in sale in India for the last few years. However, its biggest market has been the US accounting for nearly half of its global sales. But that was when the model was at its peak popularity. Focus has since shifted and the next XC90 will be a more world SUV than its predecessor.
“I am convinced that our customers will be very pleased (with the new car)," says Dennis Nobelius, who is primarily responsible for the all-new XC90. "We have learnt a great deal about the important holistic approach for everyone in the car."
Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President Product Strategy & Vehicle Line Management says: “Our all-new XC90 is an excellent example of the transformation underway at Volvo Cars, both within the company and from a brand perspective. We look forward to a new era of success.”
As announced earlier this year, the next generation XC90 will be unveiled globally this August, with production starting in January 2015. Deliveries of the new XC90 will begin in India by mid next year. The current car will continue to be on sale till the next model arrives since there will be a considerable price difference. The current XC90 retails for around Rs 45-50 lakh.
The next model will compete in the Audi Q7 and BMW X5 category. Meanwhile, Volvo will continue manufacturing the current model as XC Classic and will be on sale in China.