A Decade of Chinese Ownership – Volvo Cars Posts Strongest Second-Half Sales in Its 93-Year History

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Volvo Car 2020 Global Sales Results

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The Volvo* Brand of Zhejiang Geely Holding has posted the strongest second-half sales in the company’s history. Demand for its electrified cars led the way. The share of so-called Recharge models, with a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain, more than doubled in 2020 compared with 2019. In Europe, the share of Recharge cars of overall sales was 29%, making Volvo the leading brand in the region for chargeable cars. It was also a leading plug-in hybrid brand in the US.

In China and the United States, Volvo’s two largest markets, it reported growing sales for the full year as it managed to recover from  a Covid pandemic-related sales drop in the first half during the second half of the year.

“We had a great second half of the year after a tough start, gaining market share in all our main sales regions,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Head of Global Commercial Operations. “We aim to build on this positive trend in 2021 as we continue to roll out new electrified Volvos and expand our online business.”

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Volvo Car 2020 Sales ResultsWhile sales dropped by 21% during the first half of the year, Volvo Car resumed growth in the second half of 2020, reporting month-on-month growth from June onward. Sales rose by 7.4% to 391,751 cars in the second half of the year compared with the same period in 2019. However, globally, Volvo Cars sold 661,713 cars in 2020, a decline of 6.2% compared to 2019. Although final numbers for the full year are not confirmed, the company claims it outperformed its competitors and gained market share in all its main sales regions during the first 11 months of the year.

Sales rose by 7.5 % in China in 2020 compared with 2019, to 166,617 cars. In the US, the company sold 110,129 cars, a 1.8 %increase compared with the year before. In both markets, strong demand for the company’s award-winning SUV line-up was responsible for the majority of sales volumes. Globally during the year, the XC60 was the top-selling model, with total sales of 191,696 cars (2019: 204,965 cars), followed by the XC40 with 185,406 cars (2019: 139,847 cars) and the XC90 with 92,458 cars (2019: 100,729 cars).

In Europe, Volvo Cars saw strong demand for its Recharge cars in many key markets. A sluggish overall market, held down by pandemic-related restrictions, meant that overall sales fell by 15.5% for the whole year.

The pandemic also accelerated – or forced – the company’s move towards online sales, which will continue in 2021. In 2020, Volvo Cars more than doubled its number of subscriptions sold online versus 2019. Conquest rates via this channel continued to be high, supporting the increase in market share Volvo claimed.

Volvo Cars is now – arguably – a premium electric car company. It will launch several fully electric cars. By 2025, it aims for its global sales to consist of 50% fully electric cars, with the rest hybrids. It is currently the only car maker to offer a plug-in hybrid variant of every model in its portfolio.

*Volvo Cars was founded in 1927. Today, it is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world, with sales of 705,452 cars in 2019 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of Zhejiang Geely Holding since 2010.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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