Volvo is looking for a partner to help it build its next generation of compact models.
With Volvo's technical relationship with Ford set to expire at the same time the upcoming Volvo V40's lifecycle expires in 2017, Volvo is looking to fill the void.
Speaking with journalists in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, Volvo Chief Executive Stefan Jacoby told Reuters, "We are developing our own vehicle and engine platforms for the upper segment models that will cover some 600,000-700,000 cars and SUVs we build, or roughly 70-80 percent." He added, "But for vehicles below that, we are in the middle of looking for a partner."
This platform in development dubbed SPA (Scaleable Product Architecture) is intended to underpin 70 to 80 percent of all future models. The other 20 to 30 percent fall to the C-segment vehicles of which the C30 and C40 will remain.
Jacoby says there are no plans to follow Audi into the supermini A-segment for the current lifecycle but beyond that, it is questionable.
Other future moves Jacoby sees for the Volvo lineup is a vehicle positioned below the XC60. Jacoby said, "Ideally we would have something smaller than the XC60 and there are a couple of segments it makes sense to go into. But we have to be careful about getting into too many niches."
Jacoby also inferred that almost all Volvo models will feature some kind of hybrid/electric technology such as stop-start systems to advanced hybrid systems within the next 5 years.