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Volvo to renew entire product range by 2006

Swedish car maker Volvo is to launch a new model development campaign costing £5.6 billion over the next five years. The Ford Premier Automotive Group member plans to increase annual global sales from about 200,000 to 600,000 units in that period while renewing the entire product range.

Speaking at an automotive industry conference in Prague, the manufacturer's president and chief executive, Hans-Olov Olsson, said the United States would remain its biggest customer, accounting for a third of sales, but added that Volvo was looking to attract a larger, and wider, consumer group.

“It is one of the most robust manufacturing investments we have made and our biggest step in new model development,” he said, confirming that the brand had sufficient capacity at its Swedish and Belgian plants to produce the bulk of the proposed target volume.

A sports utility vehicle pitched against prestige rivals from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus is tipped to be the first new model in the renewal campaign.

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