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Volvo Car Group making multi-billion dollar investment in Scalable Product Architecture and Volvo Engine Architecture

Volvo Car Group, owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd. in China, is making a multi-billion dollar investment in its SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) and VEA (Volvo Engine Architecture, earlier called Volvo Environmental Architecture). (Earlier post.) The main part of the two projects will be carried out in Sweden, constituting one of Sweden’s largest ever industrial investments.

SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) is a flexible, scalable product architecture that covers most of Volvo’s future car models. It is a product range consisting of shared modules and scalable systems and components, all manufactured in a flexible production system. The first car model based on the new architecture is the next-generation Volvo XC90, which will be launched at the end of 2014.

In parallel with SPA, Volvo Car Group is also developing an all-new four-cylinder fuel-efficient engine family known as VEA (Volvo Engine Architecture). Volvo Cars says it will develop four-cylinder engines with higher performance than today’s six-cylinder units, along with lower fuel consumption than the current generation of four-cylinder engines.

The modular format of the new engines will be based on a standard of 500cc per combustion chamber for optimum thermodynamics. It could also be used to develop three-cylinder engines.

With VEA, Volvo is targeting a reduction in the number of unique parts by 60%; powertrains up to 90 kg lighter than the present ones; and fuel economy improvements of up to 35%. The modularity and compact transverse design are also suited for future electrification developments. The engines will meet all known emissions legislation worldwide up to 2017.

These engines will be built in Skövde and assembly of all drivelines, including hybrid drivelines, will be integrated in the Torslanda plant in Gothenburg.

Almost half of the approximately 11 billion USD investments covering the years 2011 to 2015 will be spent in Sweden in the form of infrastructure for the new vehicle architecture and engine family.

—Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car Group.

About one-third of the investments in Sweden are earmarked for expansion and upgrades of Volvo’s Swedish production facilities. A significant sum is being invested in the construction of the new bodyshop in Torslanda, which will be completed during the second half of 2013.

In addition to Torslanda, there will also be considerable investments in the bodyshop in Olofström, which has to be modified for the new car models based on the new architecture. The Skövde engine plant will also undergo comprehensive changes for production of the all-new 4-cylinder engine family.

Product development represents the major part of the investments in Sweden, with work on the new vehicle architecture and engine family taking place in Volvo’s development centre in Torslanda, Gothenburg.

SPA makes us technologically independent, without any link whatsoever to our previous owner. The new architecture covers about two-thirds of our total sales volume. With about 40 percent of all components shared by all car models irrespective of size, we will benefit from economies of scale, thus boosting our competitiveness.

—Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development


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