Update: Despite previous reports claiming the global downturn has caused Volvo to nix future variants of the C30, the Swedish carmaker is now rumored to be working on a new crossover variant of the stylish hatch for launch in 2010. The V30 is expected to feature a five-door body and be slightly bigger than the current C30.

According to AutoTelegraaf, Volvo is planning to launch a brand new model every year for the next three to four years. This year saw the introduction of the new XC60 crossover and next year is expected to see the launch of the next-generation S60 sedan, while the V30 will be launched in 2010.

Original: The global downturn in the car market has left almost no manufacturer untouched, and even those that are presently doing well are planning for a tough future. Part of those plans include paring down model lines to core essentials as falling demand makes micro-niche vehicles less and less profitable. One of the first companies to take action on that front may be Volvo, as reports indicate it has already ceased working on several variants of its C30 hatch.

It's not yet clear which variants of the C30 may have already been killed, but the 350hp (261kW) C30 R prototype is likely at the top of the list. Its relatively high fuel consumption, high cost and limited production nature would make it a halo model not suited to a belt-cinching market.

Other variants speculated to be on the chopping block include the XC30 and V30 off-road versions of the car. Though these cars weren't expected until 2011 at the earliest, and the company has recently been thought to be expanding its small-car and diesel lineup, the need to save money by cutting development could overtake the need for more small cars.

One variant that may be safe is the five-door C30. Reports as recent as July indicate it is still being worked on, and adding a more capacious option to the small end of the lineup could do well for sales and overall fleet fuel economy averages.

Other carmakers that have taken similar measures include BMW's cessation of its seven-seat X7 SUV program, Renault's termination of a potential Megane-based crossover, reports Automotive News. The huge amounts of money, usually counted in the billions of dollars, required to deveop a new model, just cannot be justified in the current economy. In addition to the development costs, reductions in overall production numbers also mean focusing on existing models with proven customer bases instead of gambling on new products that may never recuperate their initial investments.