Dean Shaw captured NEMPA’s attention with an overview of new vehicles, new families of vehicles and new technologies that will drive the company’s re-emergence in one of its key markets—New England. Volvo’s J.A. (Jawanza) Keita is at center right.
Story by Dan Roth, NEMPA; Photos by George Kennedy, NEMPA
Dean Shaw, Volvo Vice-President for Corporate Communications, visited NEMPA at the Boston Globe offices on Tuesday, October 8. Volvo joined NEMPA members for dinner and shared details on a wide array of coming vehicles—such as the 2015 XC90 crossover sport utility, the first car that will ride on Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture.
Scalable Platform Architecture forms the basis of Volvo’s future plans, with all-new FWD powertrains and lightweight gas, diesel and hybrid 4-cylinder engines. The “package” is limited basically only by the distance from the front axle to the cabin firewall. “Then you can play with everything else,” Shaw said. SPA allows for short overhangs, new proportions and different lengths, widths and heights.
Having transitioned through the recent change of ownership—Ford sold Volvo to China’s Zhejiang Geely Group in 2010—the company is bullish on its prospects. Shaw called the 2014 model year the “most wide-ranging product refresh Volvo has ever undertaken.” A sporty Volvo wagon will once again join the lineup when the new V60 arrives shortly, and Volvo expects to resume its leadership in active and passive safety with upgraded technologies that will begin to roll out in 2014.
These include animal and pedestrian detection, even in darkness; adaptive cruise control with steering assist; and road-barrier detection with steering assist.
And in January Volvo will launch new compact, high-performance and high-efficiency 4-cylinder T5 (turbocharged) and T6 (turbo- and supercharged) Drive-E hybrid powertrains with 8-speed transmissions.
With judging beginning soon for the annual Winter Vehicle of New England awards, and to show off the company’s hard work, Volvo’s Jawanza Keita has shipped a pair of 2014 S60s to the NEMPA fleet.
More than any other region, New England historically has been Volvo’s strongest market in the US, and NEMPA has a long history with the Swedish automaker as well. NEMPA thanks Volvo for taking the time to meet with our membership as well as providing the vehicles for our media fleet.