Sweden's Volvo Car Corp., known for its safety-conscious luxury sedans and wagons, on Jan. 7 said it expects its first-ever sport utility vehicle to propel total U.S. sales to the 200,000 mark by 2005.
Ford Motor Co. unit Volvo had no SUV in its luxury lineup during the past five years while fellow luxury car makers, such as Mercedes and BMW, enjoyed success with their sport utility models.
But on Jan. 7, Volvo debuted its new XC90 SUV at the North American International Auto show in Detroit.
"This is the vehicle that will take Volvo over the 200,000 bar," Dan Werbin, president and CEO of Volvo Cars North America, told reporters at the XC90's launch.
Volvo's target for the SUV's first year is 50,000 units, according to Werbin, with 65 percent of those vehicles, or 32,500, sold in North America. The first XC90 is slated for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2002.
Considered a so-called crossover vehicle since it is built on a passenger car base, the XC90 is the top offering in Volvo's XC range, which also includes the all-wheel drive Cross Country wagon.