If you're worried that Volvo will ruin the formula of its venerable XC90 crossover when the new model arrives, fret no more. A new report from China Car Times says that Volvo will be granting parent-company Geely the rights to produce the first-generation XC90 in China for the Geely brand.
Volvo has already confirmed that it will be introducing an all-new XC90 model in 2014 for the 2015 model year. It makes sense that parent company Geely may be looking to monetize the current generation car even further by keeping it on sale in China under the Geely name. This won't be the first time that Volvo has teamed up with Geely: Geely bought Volvo from Ford in 2010 for about $1.8 billion, and the two firms entered into an agreement earlier this year to share electric vehicle, plug-in, and small-car powertrains.
The current, first-generation XC90 has been making a slow march toward the end of what will be an 11-year lifecycle. Since its debut in 2002, the crossover has not seen a single significant face-lift, though it has received minor tweaks over the years. In 2005 Volvo added an optional 4.4-liter Yamaha-sourced V-8 for the XC90, only to discontinue it after 2011. In both 2007 and 2013, the XC90 received light cosmetic updates, but has otherwise continued to soldier on with its 240-hp 3.2-liter I-6. The all-new 2015 model will be the first car to ride on Volvo's new Scalable Platform Architecture and feature new, more fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines instead of the old five- and six-cylinders.
According to China Car Times, Geely will use the old XC90's platform to develop a new high-end brand for the Chinese market that will use the XC90 as its flagship. The P2 platform that Geely is receiving not only underpins the XC90, but also the first-generation Volvo S60 and S80, and the 2002-2007 V70 and XC70 wagons. A modified version of P2 can be found under numerous Ford models as well, including the current Ford Taurus, Explorer, and Flex and Lincoln MKS and MKT.
Update: Volvo has confirmed that it has, indeed, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding as of this past March to "transfer of existing vehicle technologies in order to establish a new brand within the Geely Group."
Source: China Car Times