Swedish luxury car company Volvo will launch its first fully electric car, the XC40, in India in late 2021 or early 2022, a company official told Moneycontrol.
Built on the compact modular architecture platform (CMA), the XC40 is presently sold in India with a petrol engine. The company recently discontinued the diesel version. The sports utility vehicle (SUV) is the smallest of the three SUVs Volvo sells in India. It is also one of Volvo's best-selling products for Volvo in India, contributing 25 percent of its sales.
The XC40 is one of the first to get the newly developed CMA platform, which is flexible enough to be used for electric modifications. Other Volvo models will also move to the CMA platform.
The race to launch electric vehicles is heating up in India with German giants Mercedes and Audi, both rivals of Volvo, announcing plans to launch their electric vehicles here.
The XC40 electric will be launched in Europe later this year.
Mercedes-Benz, India’s largest luxury car company, launch the EQC, a fully electric car, while Audi, the third largest in the ranking, will launch the E-torn. Both these launches will take place this year.
While BMW, the third largest luxury carmaker in India, is studying the possibility of introducing electric vehicles in India, Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover will launch the iPace, its first fully electric car, in India in the second half of the year.
Volvo, however, beat its rivals in the race for hybrids. With the exception of the now-discontinued i8 from BMW, India did not get any plug-in hybrid cars from any of the luxury carmakers.
The company launched the plug-in hybrid version on the XC90, its flagship vehicle in India, in 2016. For this model, India has turned out to be one of the best performing markets for Volvo. It started local assembly of the model from a plant in Bengaluru last year.
Volvo’s sales dipped 15 percent year-on-year to 2,253 units in 2019. Besides the slowdown in demand for luxury cars, the dip can be attributed to the absence of car lines such as S60 and V40.
Sales of luxury cars have dipped to their lowest in three years due to multiple increase in prices and a slowing economy.
Mercedes, BMW and Audi together control more than 80 percent of all luxury cars sold in India. They posted sales of 28,021 units in 2019, a YoY slump of 26 percent.