Volvo targets Audi and BMW with new C-segment model

VOLVO has described the new V40 – on sale in the UK from Saturday (July 21) – as its most important model in 20 years.


That’s when it last had a C-segment, five-door hatchback, the 440, and was a time when it was selling more than 80,000 cars a year in the UK and had a market share of around 4%.


Today market share is under 2% and annual sales are around 36,000 so the V40 has an important role in helping to raise share back above 2%, managing director Nick Connor told Headlineauto.


He expects V40 sales volumes next year to be around 12,000 with total VolvoUKsales at around 37,000. His goal is to increase annual sales to around 50,000.


‘The V40 will be very much an end-user car,’ he said. ‘We’re not going to push the sales, there will be no daily rental and no Motability.’


At their peak, the V50 and S40 had combined sales of around 10,500. The V40 replaces both models.


Its advantage as a five-door hatchback is that it is ‘a car that doesn’t need explaining [to buyers] … it’s an Audi A3, Volkswagen Golf, BMW 1 series competitor,’ said Connor.


Volvo says that the C segment in theUKis worth 320,000 units a year of which only 13% – or 41,000 units – are premium sales, made up of Alfa Romeo with the Giulietta, Audi and BMW. It only takes a 5% switch to Volvo to give them 10,000 sales a year.


The V40 has a choice of three diesel (1.6 and 2.0 litre) and two petrol (both 1.6 litre) engines. V40 prices start at £19,745 for the D2 115 bhp diesel in ES trim rising to £26,795 for the D4 (177 bhp) diesel in SE Lux trim.


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