9:30 PM | February 5 2021

The rise and rise of Volvo sales in Australia

I Roll looks at Australian sales figures of 2000, 2010 and 2020 to see how Volvo Cars’ market fortunes have progressed significantly over recent decades.
Volvo Car Australia registered a record showroom result for the month of January 2021 to establish a strong foundation for its ambition to reach annual local sales of 10,000.
With 803 vehicles sold last month, the figure equates to a 45 per cent year-on-year increase - the highest of any manufacturer in the premium segment. It is almost double the 431 sales the company registered in January 2019, a year that would conclude with record annual sales.
January’s official industry figures reflect the impressive rise of the Volvo luxury brand in Australia, as well as globally.
At the turn of the century, Volvo sold 3035 vehicles in Australia. This was spread between a range of 11 models, which had yet to include an SUV. The company’s first SUV, the XC90, didn’t debut until 2002.
That year’s sales were led by the S40 compact sedan, followed by the V70 wagon and V40 hatchback. Other models included the C70 Coupe and Convertible, the S60, S80 and S90 sedans, and the Cross Country wagon that was a precursor to the company’s XC models.
By 2010, Volvo offered two SUVs, with the 2008 mid-sized XC60 having joined the larger, seven-seater XC90. In a clear sign of changing car-buyer tastes, the two SUVs accounted for more than half of the company’s 4945 sales that year, with the remainder split between seven other models.

Volvo XC60
Above: The mid-sized Volvo XC60 luxury SUV has been highly popular in Australia since its 2008 debut and continues to be the brand’s best-selling vehicle globally.
The most popular of the non-SUV models was the distinctive C30 hatch. Wagon options consisted of the V50, V70 and XC70.
In 2020, the Volvo Cars line-up in Australia comprised six models yet were responsible for sales climbing 56 per cent compared with a decade earlier. And that total of 7700 sales was achieved in a year impacted significantly by the Covid-19 pandemic – and just 79 vehicles shy of the company’s record 2019.
The XC60 and XC90 luxury SUVs made significant gains between January 2020 and January 2021, increasing by 22 per cent and 42 per cent respectively.
The introduction of Volvo’s third, and smallest, SUV, the XC40 (main image) has had its own impact.
Scoring multiple industry honours like its larger stablemates and establishing a position as one of the world’s most popular compact luxury SUVs, the XC40 was the best-selling Volvo in Australia last year.
The Volvo XC40 starts 2021 with the same status, with a 105 per cent sales increase compared with January 2020. A fully electric variant will expand the XC40 line-up later this year.