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Detroit Auto News
Consumer's Eye
By: Anita Lienert
September 11, 2002

XC90 Will Be Biggest Volvo SUV


Don't expect Volvo to come up with a sport-utility vehicle that is bigger than the seven-passenger 2003 XC90, the Swedish automaker's first-ever SUV.

That's according to Victor H. Doolan, president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America.

Part of the thinking behind not adding a larger SUV to Volvo's product portfolio is that the Ford brand doesn't want to compete with other marques in the company's Premier Automotive Group.

"We're part of a group which has Jaguar and Land Rover," Doolan explained. "We're trying to do SUVs and crossovers which are compatible. I can't say we'll turn one out after the other.

(But) I don't think we'll go up above that (the XC90). I don't think we'll have a larger one. The air up there is rarefied. That role will be covered by Range Rover."

Although no decision has been made yet, Doolan hinted that Volvo may have a smaller SUV in the future, most likely something spun off of the Ford Focus platform.

"But that's still a question mark," he said. "We think we can provide a variety of vehicles for all the markets with (the XC90). The price segment -- $33,350 to $43,000 -- that's where the critical volume is. Limited volume above and below is not that profitable."

Doolan predicts safety-conscious Volvo will add some "fun" in 2003 with new high-performance products like the S60R sedan and the V70R, a 300-horsepower station wagon.

"Being conscientious doesn't mean you can't have fun," he said.
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