Volvo Car Corp. is developing a “C-minus” segment car for global release in 2006 spawned off an abbreviated version of its S40 sedan's C1 architecture, Ford Motor Co. Chief Technical Officer Richard Parry-Jones tells Ward's.

He says the new vehicle comes as a result of efficiencies found during the development of vehicles from the same architecture for Ford, Mazda Motor Corp. and Volvo Cars' lineups worldwide.

The small-car program is dubbed the C30 and will draw heavily from recent Volvo concept cars for its exterior design. It will be sold in the U.S., Volvo officials say. Slotted below the S40, it will be especially welcome in Asia, where the auto maker is struggling to grow.

“The C30 is going to be off the same set of modular technologies as the (European Ford) Focus, Volvo S40 and Mazda3,” Parry-Jones says. “It's more a C-minus (segment car) than B/C-segment.”

Parry-Jones cautions against assuming the C1 platform consists of a single chassis that must be modified for various model programs. He says the strategy eventually will lead to “two additional products a year.”