Cars

Volvo’s Car of the Year Winner is Finally in the Philippines

The XC40 is Volvo’s first car designed and built around its new Compact Modular Architecture.
IMAGE Volvo
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For a car company based out of Sweden, it’s telling that Volvo has never won the European Car of the Year trophy. Until last year.

Volvo finally broke that streak with the XC40, its compact SUV that completes the car marque’s range of SUVs. The model was launched recently here in Manila and officials were bullish about its prospects here and across the region.

“Response to the XC40 has surpassed our expectations,” said Annette Andersson, market area director for importers for the APEC region of Volvo. “With almost 80,000 orders in 2018, Volvo Cars had to expand production in Europe and China to meet demand. In the Philippines, for example, orders were already placed way before we could officially introduce the car to the market. We had to keep up and attend to the insistent call of our clients and that is why it took us quite some time to officially kick off our local launch.”

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Safety and technology

The new XC40 is Volvo’s first car designed and built around the company’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA). It also includes a range of groundbreaking technologies first introduced in its 90- and 60 Series siblings based on Volvo’s larger Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).

In short, the XC40 combines Volvo’s heritage as a leader in automobile transport safety with new technology and features related to operability and connectivity.

“Modern city life presents complex challenges for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. With the XC40, we aim to reduce the so-called cognitive load on the driver. While our safety and driver assistance systems actively identify and mitigate potential conflicts, you as a driver can relax more and therefore enjoy city driving,” said Malin Ekholm, vice president of Volvo Cars Safety Center.

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The XC40 has safety and driver assistance features that include Run-off Road protection and mitigation, Cross Traffic alert with auto brake, and the 360-degree Camera that helps drivers maneuver their cars into tight parking spaces.

“We built a confident, easy-to-use, and convenient everyday user experience based on real-life interaction and research, starting from our foundation of leading safety,” said Ödgärd Andersson, Volvo’s vice president for vehicle software and electronics. The XC40 is a car for a generation of consumers that expect full connectivity. All screens have been optimized for a safe, easy, and efficient interaction to support active city driving.

“Like the larger XC60 and XC90 SUVs, the XC40 features Volvo’s connected Sensus infotainment system, centered around the now familiar large, portrait- oriented touchscreen, Andresson added. “Easy-to-use and intuitive, the Sensus interface allows drivers to access a host of functions and services.”

Volvo says these and other technological innovations make the XC40 one of the best-equipped premium SUVs in the market today.

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“In January alone, the XC40 already ranks second after the XC60, with over 8,000 in sales,” Andersson said. “With the untiring efforts of our local partner, Volvo Philippines, we expect to gain at least 30 percent of the share in the local premium SUV market.”

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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