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Volvo will bring diesels, plug-ins here -

Chrissie Thompson
Automotive News
October 12, 2009 - 12:01 am ET

DETROIT -- Volvo Cars of North America will meet U.S. fuel economy standards by adding diesel engines and plug-in hybrids and introducing more fuel-efficient gasoline engines, CEO Doug Speck said last week.

"It's unclear ultimately what percentage of each is going to drive the industry," Speck said in an interview here, speaking of the corporate average of 35.5 mpg required by 2016.

Factors such as fuel prices, consumers' interest in hybrids and government support of various technologies could change what companies need to sell to thrive, he said.

"I think all car companies have to have their strategy to allow them to succeed in all three areas," Speck said.

Volvo has said it will introduce a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in Europe by 2012. That vehicle will come to the United States, Speck said, but he declined to give a launch date.

He also declined to say when the diesels will come to the United States or which vehicles will get them.

Volvo, which is owned by Ford Motor Co., has been for sale since December. Speck's division makes up 23 percent of worldwide Volvo sales. The brand is expected to sell about 350,000 vehicles globally this year, Speck said.

In September, Volvo had its fourth straight year-over-year monthly U.S. sales gain. The brand sold 46,729 vehicles through September, down 22 percent from the same period of 2008. That compares with a 27 percent fall industrywide.
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