Volvo recorded a 14.2% global year-on-year sales increase in July, bucking the industry’s pandemic-induced downward trend. The Swedish firm sold 62,291 cars worldwide last month, with growth recorded in the European, US and Chinese markets. Its 28,700 European sales were up 12.5% on July 2019.
The growth is attributed to a number of factors, including the easing of lockdown restrictions allowing dealerships to reopen and continued strong demand for the brand’s SUV models.
The XC40 crossover was the brand’s top-selling model last month, followed by the mid-sized XC60 and flagship XC90. Overall, the SUV trio accounted for 72.8% of Volvo’s July sales.
The growing popularity of Volvo’s electrified Recharge range - recently bolstered with the addition of the new XC40 plug-in hybrid - also contributed to the growth. Volvo says sales of electrified models more than doubled in the first six months of 2020 compared with the same period last year.
The brand also cites recently published data from analytics body IHS Markit, which names it as the “leading electrified premium brand in Europe during the first half of 2020, with Recharge models making up nearly a quarter of sales in the segment".
Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson said recently that the firm's focus on electrification and connectivity will help it to achieve long-term growth in the wake of the pandemic. “The downturn we saw in the first half is a temporary one," he said. "We expect to see a strong recovery in the second half of the year, and our Recharge range of electrified cars puts us in a strong position to meet the emerging trends we're seeing.
“This pandemic has strengthened our confidence that our strategic ambitions are the right ones and that an accelerated transformation of our business will lead to long-term growth. We will continue to focus on and invest in electrification, online sales and connectivity.”
Volvo’s year-to-date sales figures show the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with its 332,253 global sales marking a 16% drop compared with the first six months of 2019.