Volvo has refuted suggestions that its chairman has confirmed plans to develop a brand-new stand-alone luxury model to tackle the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8.
Volvo vice president of media relations Per-Ake Froberg said in a statement that reports from CarNewsChina claiming the Swedish brand’s chairman, Li Shufu, confirmed plans to develop an S100 luxury flagship to Chinese media are “not correct”.
“Li Shufu has not commented upon these matters to Chinese media at all,” Froberg said.
“The recurring media speculations about a disunity between Li Shufu and the Volvo management regarding the company´s product strategy are baseless. There is no confusion whatsoever between Li Shufu and the Volvo management.
“There is a full agreement that Volvo Cars [is] not going to expand its sedan product range above the D/E segment (Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, etc.), where Volvo currently is present with the S80 and S80L. Within that segment, Volvo will look into various executions in order to satisfy the needs of different customer groups.
“Li Shufu also fully supports the design strategy with focus on Scandinavian design, embodied in the recently launched Concept Coupe and the upcoming SUV XC90 that will be launched 2014.”
The statement is in keeping with comments made by Volvo president and CEO Hakan Samuelsson back in April, when he insisted the marque had no plans to build a luxury limousine, and signals an apparent change of heart from Li, who in 2010 suggested that the Swedish marque needed “more high-level cars that compete with the S-Class of Mercedes-Benz and the 7 Series of BMW”.