In 2003, Volvo Cars introduced the current generation of the S40 and V50 as their redesigned entry to the compact entry-level luxury vehicle. The said generation of the S40 sedan and its wagon version, the V50 was named by Forbes as one of the best luxury cars for young affluent drivers. In the first place, Volvo aimed the S40 and V50 for the younger generation of drivers as they continue to cope with the changing times.
Recently, the Sweden-based Ford Motor Company-owned car manufacturer announced that they will be redesigning the S40/V50 for the 2008 model year to make them more appealing to younger car buyers.
Volvo Cars President and Chief Executive Fredrik Arp has this to say about the redesigned S40/V50: “When the cars were introduced almost four years ago, we emphasized that they gave buyers the properties of the larger Volvo models but in a more compact format. Now we’re taking this approach one step further by increasing the ‘grown-up’ quality perception even more. At the same time we are accentuating the differences between the two models. The new S40 moves closer to the Volvo S80 while the new V50 is more like the new Volvo V70.”
Volvo’s efforts to focus on younger buyers have turned out to have a positive effect on their sales in recent years. In the United States, figures shows that 45 percent of Volvo S40 buyers are aged under 35 from a previous 23 percent. It was also found out that 40 percent of S40 buyers are single, showing an increase of 10 percent.
Furthermore, the overall age of S40 customers dropped by ten years from 50 to 40. In connection with that, Arp has this to say: “What is more, the reasons for choosing the S40 are much more emotional than before. Today’s buyers speak enthusiastically of its sporty design and driving pleasure. We’re also increasingly winning the image and prestige match against our toughest competitors.”
One of the major changes in the S40/V50 is the higher power output of its engine. The 2008 model year version of the S40/V50 will be equipped with a T5 engine capable of producing 230 horsepower. The engine will be complemented by a wide array of high quality components as reliable as Volvo 940 parts. Aside from the performance of the vehicles, Volvo also increased the storage capacity of the Volvo S40 and the Volvo V50. “The design team exploited every available cubic centimeter in an intelligent way. The all-new design of the centre console and the door inside panels, for instance, has increased storage capacity and added even greater flexibility to the interior,” says Arp.
These are just some of the upgrades made to the S40/V50, and U.S. car buyers will have to wait for the release of the vehicles in the country to find out for themselves how Volvo managed to increase the appeal of an already appealing model.