Surging demand for its SUVs powers Volvo's record sales in first half 2019

by James Attwood, Autocar UK 18 Jul 2019

Volvo Cars' complete SUV line-up: XC60, XC90 and XC40.

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 and in India.

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. In India, first half 2019 sales were up 11 percent.

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 newXC40 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.

Also read: Volvo sells 340,286 cars globally in H1 CY2019, up 7.3%

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