Continued success of XC60 and XC40 SUVs lead firm to record sales, despite struggles of global car market

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.

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Volvo XC40

Volvo’s XC40 arrives in the crowded premium compact SUV segment and hits the right note with design, practicality and driving style

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18 July 2019

The XC40 was on my 'potential' list but it was just going to cost me too much, too many options needed and not particularly attractive benefit in kind costs due to high prices / not so clean engines (especially for their power outputs).Had quite a few Volvo's in the past when they were a good value alternative to the usual 'premium' brands. I congratulate them on truly reaching premium status as I have a fondness for the brand, but they don't stand out any more. XC40, X1, Q3, Evoque, Tiguan, E-pace - you might as well just pick the one with the best special offer on the lease this month.

18 July 2019

Maybe if you are just leasing an appliance for a couple of years it doesn't matter, but those of us who have some emotion invested in a car that they purchase care a lot about the make. The quality of Volvo verses say Land Rover shows at lot more after 3 or 4 years than in the first year. To me, what Volvo have done over the last 4 or 5 years is a fantastic lesson in taking an admired but flawed brand and fixing the flaws while not loosing the fundemental qualities. I never thought I'd buy a Volvo but I'm so impressed after 18 months and 20k miles with hopefully another hundred thousand to go.

18 July 2019

Shame they're not replacing the V40 and letting it suffer a slow death.  It'll mean you're need to spend £30k to get a base Volvo soon (hate to think how much you have to spend if you don't want a SUV) . BMW and Mercedes use cheaper models as a stepping stone and Volvo need to do the same or suffer long term.

18 July 2019

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18 July 2019

"The firm’s operating profit was down, owing to a series of cost-cutting measures "

18 July 2019

it's becuase doing stuff to reduce costs long term nearly always means spending more short term. kind of like the equivilent of if you purchased solar panels for your house, you'd spend money but save thereafter.

18 July 2019

A few years ago I was chatting on holiday to a mechanic who worked at a Volvo dealer. He said the main problem was trying to maintain a premium brand facade, when, in fact, the car was ordinary.  I can't say which has occurred in the meantime: Either investment from China has really improved the product, or the wool is pulled over the eyes better than ever.

18 July 2019
rhwilton wrote:

A few years ago I was chatting on holiday to a mechanic who worked at a Volvo dealer. He said the main problem was trying to maintain a premium brand facade, when, in fact, the car was ordinary.  I can't say which has occurred in the meantime: Either investment from China has really improved the product, or the wool is pulled over the eyes better than ever.

A few years ago, the majority of Volvos were Ford based, that is no longer the case, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being based on a Ford in my opinion, but Ford are not a premium product, however the only Ford remnant is the V40, and the current oldest car in their new range is the XC90, that still feels and looks fresh.. The new vehicles are head and shoulders above what went before. 

18 July 2019

Volvo are succeeding because they are currently doing lots of things right.   Making attractive on trend SUV vehicles, designing vehicles with stylish interiors, concentrating on comfort features.  And in the specific case of the XC60, making a BIK Tax efficient hybrid available at a competitive lease cost.  That’s why I’ve placed an order for my first ever Volvo.    

18 July 2019

Im not sure I agree that their interiors are attractive?  THe XC90's interior looked good when it was launched, but I find the 'oversized airvents with tiny buttons couplked with a large clunky screen with naff audio' a curious mix that seems to appeal to some.I think their interiors are dating faster than an M5 up the M6. 

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