Volvo has reported record sales in the first half of 2019, with the success of its SUV range helping the firm sell 340,286 cars – including strong growth in the UK market.
The Swedish company’s worldwide sales between January and June were up 7.3% on 2018, despite the struggles of the global car market. The growth has been driven by Volvo’s SUV range, which accounted for 60.7% of its total sales.
Volvo sold 30,026 cars in the UK in the first six months of 2019, a year-on-year increase of 30%. The firm also reported growth of 32% in Germany and 10.2% in China, despite the European and Chinese car markets continuing to decline.
Boss Håkan Samuelsson said the results showed Volvo was now “a real premium alternative” as a brand.
Those strong sales helped Volvo achieve record revenues of 130.1 billion SEK (£11 billion), a 5.9% year-on-year increase. The firm’s operating profit was down, owing to a series of cost-cutting measures and investment in research.
The XC60 SUV was Volvo’s best-selling model in the first half of 2019, with 50,946 sales. That was 0.1% down year on year, largely due to a fall in sales in Sweden. Volvo also sold 32,961 examples of the new XC40 small SUV, up 88.3% on 2018.
Samuelsson said the results reflected that "SUVs are the cars people are asking for right now", and added: "We've never had as good product as we have now."
Asked in a press conference whether the firm could expand its SUV line-up in the future to further capitalise on this demand, Samuelsson said there were no current plans – but added that "you should not exclude" the possibility. He hinted the firm was considering a larger SUV to sit above the XC90, and a compact crossover below the XC40.