In a bid to increase global annual sales from 450 000 to 600 000, Volvo plans to introduce three new models.

In a bid to increase global annual sales from 450 000 to 600 000, Volvo plans to introduce three new models.

They are a saloon-wagon crossover placed above the S80 and the V70; a small SUV based on the S40 and V50 platform; and a hatchback/wagon smaller than the V50.

Volvo chief executive Hans-Olov Olsson says he believes the expansion will move the Swedish brand closer to the luxury brands Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Lexus.

"We are going to outperform the Germans and Japanese," Olsson predicted.

The large people-carrying crossover between the V70 and S80 will lead the new product assault, Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo Car senior vice president for product and business strategy said.

The most contentious addition will be the small car-based SUV, which Kerssemakers said the designers were still haggling about. The decision whether to "make it a sport wagon like an Alfa 156, or a real SUV like a XC90" is causing the most concern.

The products have not yet received final approval but Volvo said that they were being seriously considered. No projected timing or volume targets had been set for the additions.