Expect small updates for XC90, other petrol Volvos
COO talked about the changes during record earnings call
Volvo has just finished its best year yet. Sales were at a record high, as were profits. 16 percent of the company’s vehicles were EVs, 70 percent more than the year before. But as the company moves to fully electric by 2030, it isn’t done refreshing its petrol-powered vehicles just yet.
“Clearly the transition [to electrification] happens at different timescales around the world,” COO Bjorn Annwall said during the company’s earnings call (via Auto Express). “That’s a strength of Volvo – we have this balanced portfolio. While we are introducing EX90, we still have XC90. And I don’t think they are going to cannibalise each other on sales that much; we’re going to sell more EX90s in Northern Europe, but we’ll sell more XC90s in Eastern Europe; more XC90 in central United States, more EX90 in the western United States.”
That means that the company will work to keep its gas models, like the aging XC90 as well as the XC60, fresh. Annwall said that the company could continue to make infotainment updates and has just recently added Android built-in. The company can also work on some mild styling refreshes. New bumpers, headlights, and the like.
“So yes, for some of the key PHEV/MHEV cars, we’ll make those investments; we’ll come back to you on which cars and at what time, but clearly they will continue to play a very important, complementary role in our portfolio,” said Annwall.
But there might not be any powertrain updates. Volvo made the decision to end R&D on internal combustion engines in 2022. The company has killed off diesel models already. While the division that handles that research is now part of parent company Geely, it’s not clear if Volvo would bring it back in for the last few years of gas.