Volvo targets China luxury segment with EM90 — its highest priced model to date

SHANGHAI: Volvo Car AB is betting on a plush battery-powered minivan/multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) to make deeper inroads into the Chinese market.

The EM90, promoted as a Scandinavian “living room on the move,” will be the highest priced model in Volvo’s lineup, starting in China at 818,000 yuan (RM529,000).

The lavishly outfitted six-seater has a range of some 738km.

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With the new EV, Volvo is targeting the multi-purpose vehicle segment, which has gained popularity of late, especially in China, the Gothenburg, Sweden-based carmaker said.

“We are doing a premium MPV that you can use both for your business life but also for your private life,“ Bjorn Annwall, Volvo’s chief commercial officer, said in an interview before the launch.

Volvo, a part of Chinese billionaire Li Shufu’s Geely empire, aims to increase its foothold in the world’s largest auto market at a time when European EV rivals are struggling to keep pace with domestic competitors.

READ MOREVolvo EM90 MPV highlights

Volvo EM90 - A space for living on the move

In September, local brand BYD held a 36% share of EV-sales in China, followed by Tesla at 8.4%, according to the China Passenger Car Association.

Tesla set off a price war in the country a year ago by slashing prices on its EVs as sales growth started to slow, prompting others in the market to follow suit.

Volvo Car’s chief executive officer, Jim Rowan, said the company has been largely shielded from the EV price pressures because of its premium positioning and improvements in its battery technology.

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The company remains, however, under pressure to deliver on the manufacturer’s timeline for becoming an EV-only carmaker.

Volvo aims to sell 1.2 million vehicles annually by mid-decade, about twice last year’s sales, and cease making combustion-engine autos by 2030.

Issues with software have slowed the process, but the company is looking to start deliveries of its fully electric lineup of SUV’s, the EX90 and the EX30, starting next year.

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The EM90 will be built at Geely’s plant at Hangzhou Bay starting at the beginning of next year, and can be pre-ordered by customers in China now.

The minivan is equipped with the hardware necessary for bi-directional charging, a set of multi-functional screens and a raft of other features.

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Volvo EM90 PR Images
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