Safety may have always been the big thing with Volvo, but reports say the Swedish automaker is looking at upping its image beyond being safe and dependable as owner Geely Automobile aims to broaden the brand’s appeal to woo new customers and take the fight to the competition, especially in what will be eventually its largest market in the world, China.

The shift, the company says, is needed as it seeks to climb back up the ladder in terms of market share globally. It says that it should comfortably meet its target of delivering 425,000 vehicles this year, and growth projections could see an expected increase of 140,000 units through 2014, though even with this gain it’s likely to lag behind its German competitors, namely Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, which are all set to make a significant jump in sales figures too.

Still, that’s no reason not to try, and the company says that it will be focusing strongly on the Chinese market, in the process adding significant infrastructure there. New models will undoubtedly help in its quest, and it is already planning to come up with a new car designed for China in 2013. Earlier in the year, Volvo announced that it would be building a new plant in Chengdu and is mulling over a second factory as well as an engine plant that will have a build capacity of 200,000 to 300,000 engines.

China looks set to overtake the US as Volvo’s largest market, and this could come as early as 2012, hence the view of establishing the country as its second home market, the company states.