Currently reading: Volvo breaks sales record in first half of 2020
Continued popularity of SUVs helps Swedish firm eclipse its 2019 record as pandemic recovery continues

Volvo has recorded its strongest-ever sales for the first half of a year, rebounding strongly from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic to sell 380,757 cars.

The Swedish firm’s sales between January and June increased by 41.0% compared with the same period in 2020, when sales and production were affected by various national lockdowns. More significantly, the firm broke its previous first-half sales record of 340,826 units, set in 2019.

Of those sales, 24.6% were electric or plug-in hybrid models. Sales of such machines, which carry Volvo’s Recharge branding, increased nearly 150% year on year. 

The XC40 was again Volvo’s best-selling model, with 118,121 sold. Showing the continued popularity of its SUVs, the XC60 (113,500) and XC90 (54,177) were next in its sales list.

Volvo’s sales increased in its three key markets – Europe, China and the US. The firm sold 166,822 cars in Europe, a 35.4% year-on-year rise that, the firm said, was led by a strong performance in the UK.

The first-half sales record came after Volvo sold 391,754 cars in the final six months of 2020, which set a new record for July-December sales. It means the firm is on course to break its overall annual sales record of 705,452, which was set in 2019.


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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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