Volvo plans a compact car to take on the BMW Mini and Fiat 500 range
Chinese owned Swedish car maker Volvo, seems to be mulling a brand new product, to rival the likes of the BMW Mini sports hatchback range and the Fiat 500 range. If conceived and put into production, the Mini challenger from Volvo would be the Swedish brand’s smallest car yet. Currently, the entry level Volvo model is the C30 hatchback, which will soon be joined by the XC40 crossover. The Mini challenging Volvo though, is expected to be outfitted with a smaller engine that Volvo plans to develop in the coming years. We expect the sporty, entry level Volvo hatchback to still be a few years away from production.
The main reason for premium brands looking to build entry level sporty offerings seems to be the greater volumes such cars will generate. Another important factor is that such cars would lead to the entry price going down, by means of which younger buyers can be attracted to buy from the brand. These younger buyers can become the engines for future growth for such brands as they might stay within the brand’s fold for many years to come if satisfied with the premium product experience. This is why premium car makers like BMW, Audi, Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar and Mercedes Benz are lining up a range of entry level products aimed at younger buyers.
BMW’s Mini range of sporty hatchbacks, though sold under the separate brand identity of Mini, has been extremely successful for the German automaker group. In fact, the Mini’s big success across the world has been mainly due to the sporty appeal packaged in a practical form factor that makes the Mini range of cars inherently usable as daily drivers apart from conveying a message of a upmarket lifestyle of those who own and drive it. This is one reason why the Mini range has been continuously expanded to accommodate larger cars like the Countryman.
Taking a leaf out of Mini’s book, Italian automaker Fiat has also expanded the 500 range of iconic hatchbacks, which will include a 5 seat hatchback, a crossover and an MPV in the coming years. German car maker Opel, which is owned by General Motors, is another brand looking to tap into the sporty entry level hatchback segment with the Adam range of hatchbacks. So, it clearly seems like competition is hotting up the market leader Mini even as rivals sense a big opportunity in the entry level premium hatchback class.