At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show this March Volvo will unveil the long-overdue five-door version of its C30 hatchback, though this is to be just one of several new small cars the automaker is hoping to launch in coming years.

But launching a range of new small cars is costly, which is why Volvo is now open to forming a partnership with a rival automaker for the development of its future small cars.

The information was revealed by Volvo chief Stefan Jacoby during a recent interview with the Financial Times, which was first picked up by Autocar.

Stefan Jacoby

Stefan Jacoby

“We are open for partners,” Jacoby said. “We are open for collaboration in a win-win situation for sharing platforms, for sharing engines and for a general higher scale of economics.”

Jacoby went on to reveal that he already had some potential partners in mind, though he stressed that no detailed discussions had taken place yet.

Volvo is developing a new modular platform called SPA, short for Scalable Platform Architecture. However, this platform is being designed primarily for mid-size and larger vehicles and is unlikely to appear in any future small cars from Volvo. Subsequently, Volvo may have to develop a new small car platform from scratch to replace its aging P1 architecture, which is why partnering with another automaker makes so much sense.

Mercedes-Benz and Renault-Nissan have recently done the same, sharing platforms for future small cars due from the Mercedes, Infiniti, Smart and Renault brands.