Volvo Cars and its Chinese owner are planning to export more premium cars to world markets.
Outlining its latest strategy Wednesday, Volvo unveiled upgraded versions of its upscale, fully Chinese-built S90 sedan range for export, which was an indication of increased confidence in its Chinese production base.
Some of the S90 models would also come with design touches that served to highlight the company's focus on the vital Chinese auto market. In a "super luxury" version, for instance, the front passenger seat would be replaced by a touchscreen console, with space to store shoes underneath, a feature clearly aimed at China's chauffeur-driven executives, according to commentators.
Volvo and its parent company Geely also announced plans for a factory that would make compact cars which would be based on a new shared platform, including vehicles for Geely's just-launched "connected car" brand, Lynk & Co.
According to commentators, it was part of Volvo Cars' efforts to compete with other luxury car brands both globally and within China, the world's No 1 market, after its acquisition by Zhejiang Geely Holdings in 2010.
"We have a strong manufacturing structure in China and we are geared up for further growth on this key market," Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson told reporters.
Meanwhile, Volvo's global CEO Hakan Samuelsson and Geely chairman Li Shufu are expected to say the two firms would soon start producing cars at a joint assembly plant in Taizhou, in the eastern Zhejiang province.
"We're going to be making China a global manufacturing and export (hub) for the company ... we will be for the first time shifting production of particular cars from Sweden to China in their entirety," said a Volvo insider familiar with the matter, Fox Business reported.
"We're placing China manufacturing and export at the center of our industrial strategy, and deepening our industrial synergies with Geely," added the person, who did not want to be identified because the move has not yet been made public.