10:30 PM | January 15 2021
Volvo Car sales defy pandemic challenges
Volvo sales in Australia come close to matching record figure, while, globally, the company reports the strongest second-half sales numbers in its history.
Volvo Car Australia last year came within just 79 vehicles of matching its 2019 record sales figure despite the immense challenges of the pandemic.
The Swedish car maker sold 7700 vehicles in Australia during 2020, equating to a year-on-year decrease of just one per cent in an overall market that declined nearly 14 per cent.
A strong end to the year saw Volvo Car Australia register 870 sales – a 34.5 per cent sales increase between December 2019 and December 2020. December’s result was led by the XC40 compact luxury SUV that finished the year as the company’s best-selling vehicle in 2020, with 3229 sales.
The XC40 range was bolstered in 2020 with the arrival of the Recharge Plug-In Hybrid variant.
The Volvo XC60 midsize luxury SUV was the brand’s second most popular model locally, with 2858 sales.
While Volvo’s range of multi-award-winning SUVs accounted for the majority of its local sales, there was also notable growth for its various passenger cars. The S60 luxury sports sedan and V60 luxury wagon achieved triple-digit growth – up 113 and 119 per cent, respectively – and sales of the V90 Cross Country large luxury wagon increased 70 per cent year-on-year.
Above: The Volvo V60 luxury wagon last year achieved triple-digit sales growth in Australia.
"First and foremost, I want to thank our Volvo Car Australia staff, our entire Volvo Cars national dealer network and our customers for their contribution and custom during what has been uncharted waters for us all,” said Volvo Car Australia managing director Stephen Connor.
"Given the state of the wider economy and the economic impact of the pandemic, Volvo's sales held up and our market share grew during 2020.
"As the economy recovers from the pandemic and consumer confidence returns, I believe Volvo can build on this momentum and increase our growth trajectory towards 10,000 vehicles sales in 2021".
"Our consistent sales results demonstrate that Volvo is a well-regarded brand by consumers in the luxury SUV market in Australia, so a 10,000 sales target is very achievable for us in 2021."
Globally, Volvo Cars reported the strongest second-half sales numbers in the company’s history in 2020, as fast-growing demand for its electrified cars boosted the company’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic impact.
The company acted decisively to mitigate the impact of the pandemic during the first half of the year, allowing it to quickly restart its operations after a brief shutdown and embark on a strong recovery, helped by fast-growing demand for its Recharge line-up of chargeable cars.
The share of Recharge models, with a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain, more than doubled in 2020 compared to 2019. In Europe, the share of Recharge cars of overall sales was 29 per cent, making Volvo the leading brand in the region for chargeable cars. It was also a leading plug-in hybrid brand in the US.
While global sales dropped in the first half of 2020, the company resumed its growth trajectory of recent years from June onwards, with sales rising by 7.4 per cent to 391,751 cars in the second half of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.
Globally, Volvo Cars sold 661,713 cars in 2020, a 6.2 per cent decrease compared to 2019.
Although final numbers for the full year are yet to be confirmed, the company outperformed its competitors and gained market share in all its main sales regions during the first 11 months of the year.
In China and the United States, its two largest individual markets, the company reported growing sales for the full year as it managed to more than recover a pandemic-related sales drop in the first 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.”