Volvo announces a move away from wagons and sedans as SUV fever spikes

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Volvo will move away from station wagons and sedans as it pivots towards an electric-only lineup. While it won't abandon either body style, it hinted it will pare down its presence in both segments as it launches more crossovers.

"We need less variants of sedans and wagons. We have a lot of wagons today, with the V60, the V90, the Cross Country, and the non-Cross Country, plus a lot of sedans big and small, long, and extra-long. We need to move from wagons and sedans. We will still have them in the future, but probably not as many," warned company boss Håkan Samuelsson in an interview with British magazine Autocar. He pointed out Volvo's sales mix is about 75% SUVs.

Volvo's portfolio in 2021 includes two wagons, the V60 and the V90. Each one is available as a regular low-riding model, or as a Cross Country-branded high rider with all-wheel-drive and rugged styling cues. Selling wagons in 2021 is difficult, even for a brand like Volvo that's been closely associated with the body style for decades. American motorists fell out of love with the long-roof years ago, and Chinese drivers never liked them to begin with. Europeans still buy lifted wagons, but low-riding models are a tough sell, even in Volvo's home country of Sweden. Reading between the lines suggests non-Cross Country-badged models will be axed from the range in the coming years.

As for sedans, Volvo has two: the S60 and the S90. It's not too far-fetched to speculate that at least one won't be replaced at the end of its life cycle. While nothing is official yet, and this is just a guess, our money is on the S90.

High-riding vehicles are what the market wants in the 2020s, and Volvo (like everyone else) is following demand. It added a fourth model to its palette of crossovers and SUVs when it introduced the 2022 C40 Recharge, an electric soft-roader with XC40 underpinnings and a fastback-like roof line. Unverified rumors claim a flagship model tentatively called XC100 is on its way, and Samuelsson confirmed an entry-level crossover called either XC20 or C20 is currently under development. The model's architecture will come from China-based parent company Geely.

Samuelsson explained the shift to an all-electric range will have a profound effect on Volvo's design language. First, a lot of its upcoming cars will be taller, because it's easier to pack a bulky battery pack into a crossover than into a sedan. Second, the firm's future design language will be more streamlined. "They will not be so square in the future but with softer roof lines," he predicted, adding that feedback from customers is shaping design as well.

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