Volvo Car Malaysia managing director Lennart Stegland has spilled the beans regarding what is likely the company’s next new product to enter the Malaysian market, the Volvo S90.
According to him, the Swedish executive sedan will be launched sometime next year, first as a fully-imported (CBU) model, then locally-assembled (CKD) at its Swedish Motor Assemblies (SMA) plant in Shah Alam. “We are planning to bring [the S90], of course, to Malaysia,” he said. “The main idea is that this will happen next year and we are hoping that we can bring in the car as a CBU.
“Later on we will conclude our investments in Shah Alam, in our factory, because it’s a new version, a new car. Then we will have to crank it up and then we will roll out. This will happen not at the beginning of next year, and not the end of next year.”
This means that the entry of the S90 to the market will mirror the XC90’s – the seven-seater SUV was launched in Malaysia late last year in CBU form at RM453,888; the CKD version was then introduced in June this year, bringing the price down to RM403,888.
That car is only available in the most powerful 407 hp/640 Nm T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid spec, and hence was accorded the Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) status and the tax breaks that come with it, which explains the low price for such a vehicle.
Although it was not mention which variants will enter the market, when asked about whether the T8 Twin Engine variant would be offered, Stegland said that the S90 was built on the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) as the XC90, and hence was designed to accept the PHEV powertrain from the get go. “So, yes, we can assume that we’ll have the T8 Twin Engine in Malaysia as well,” he said.
Could an S90 T8 Twin Engine receive similarly attractive pricing as the XC90? It would appear so, and there has been precedent of a hybrid executive sedan that has been accorded bargain basement pricing – the also-EEV W212 Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid was priced at RM348,888, making it the cheapest E-Class variant in Malaysia at the time.
Stegland also confirmed that the car that was sighted in Shah Alam – apparently right in front of the SMA plant, as it happens – was a pre-production unit used to validate the quality of the plant’s production before the CKD car is signed off.
GALLERY: Volvo S90