Volvo unveiled its all-new XC40 model at the Los Angeles auto show in November, moving the brand into the rapidly growing small-CUV market segment in the U.S.

And while it’s attractively styled and appears to tick all the boxes needed to blend seamlessly into the lineup alongside its XC60 and XC90 big brothers, what’s most important about the new 5-seat CUV may be what you don’t see.

The XC40 is the result of the first real in-depth collaboration between Volvo and parent Zhejiang Geely, which codeveloped the vehicle’s new Compact Modular Architecture and will derive additional models from the platform for the new Lynk & Co. brand jointly owned by Geely and Volvo. Sales of the RMB158,800 ($24,054) Lynk & Co. 01 model, based on the CMA platform, began in China last week and plans are to launch the brand in Europe in 2019 and in the U.S. in 2020.

Volvo officials are reluctant to detail how many new vehicles will be spun from the architecture for the two brands, but at minimum expect next-generation S40 sedan and V40 wagon models based on the CMA to hit the market in 2021, according to WardsAuto data. In addition, there are performance spin-offs that will come under the Polestar brand. The first Polestar plug-in hybrid will be based on the bigger Scalable Product Architecture platform and is due in 2019, but Polestar 2 will come from the CMA.

Depending on the market, the XC40 initially will be offered with a lineup of 2.0L gasoline and diesel 4-cyl. engines, but a 3-cyl. engine also will be available later. In addition, there will be multiple electrified powertrains offered, from a 48V mild hybrid to a plug-in hybrid and full electric, fulfilling a pledge by Volvo to electrify all of the vehicles it sells by 2019. The Lynk & Co. brand also plans 48V, plug-in and full-electric versions of the 01 and may only offer the battery-electric model when it comes to the U.S.

WardsAuto recently caught up with Volvo R&D/Engineering chief Henrik Green to discuss how the CMA platform program evolved, where it might be headed and the possibility of U.S. production of electric vehicles in the future. Following is an edited transcript of that discussion.

WardsAuto: How did the CMA program come together with Geely?

Green: Most of the stuff we have developed together. Geely set up an operation close to our R&D center in Gothenburg called CEVT – China Europe Vehicle Technologies. In that entity they recruited a lot of engineers, Swedish engineers, international engineers – a lot of good competence. Then in collaboration with the team I have in Gothenburg, and of course some collaboration back to their China team (that) has been growing during the development of this platform, we developed this architecture together.

WardsAuto: How did you divide that work?

Green: We put the platform responsibility on CEVT. Then we shared a lot of components that are not exposed to the consumer, a lot of the things that are underneath that you and I don’t see or touch or feel or smell. The main idea behind (sharing) those components is to scale the economy. Then everything on top of that we developed separately. So (Volvo) developed the XC40. For instance, we carried over a lot of the electrical architecture from our bigger cars. We brought in the active safety systems from our SPA platform, the infotainment system you see with the touchscreen in the center stack, the digital cluster.

WardsAuto: How much of the sourcing is from Chinese suppliers? That’s part of the savings here, right?

Green: Absolutely. I don’t have a figure to give you on that, but we set up the whole sourcing from the start to take care of the fact we have plants in Europe and in China. So every component was sourced on that global assumption that we need to look for supply both in Europe to our Ghent (Belgium) factory, where we build this car, and in China, (where) the Chengdu factory also will build this car one day. Some suppliers in China, some in Europe, but always (sharing) with both (Volvo and Lynk & Co.) vehicles.