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Volvo Australia breaks sales record

Ambitious Volvo overtakes supply-hit Audi to be a top-three luxury brand in May, with its electric range set to drive further growth.

Mike Costello
Mike Costello
News Editor
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Volvo Cars Australia continues to buck the market’s downward trend, chalking up its highest monthly sales result on record in May this year.

The brand chalked up 1121 sales for the month, up 18.6 per cent on May 2021, and in so doing breezed past the heavily supply-constrained Audi (941 sales, down 45.4 per cent).

Volvo was the third biggest-selling premium brand for the month behind BMW (2534 sales, down 6.4 per cent) and Mercedes-Benz (2282, down 9.7 per cent) – not only bettering Audi, but also Lexus (680 sales) and Jaguar Land Rover (480).

The brand’s May sales tally also had it ahead of Renault (837), Jeep (615) and Skoda (528).

Clearly the company has fewer supply issues from its Swedish (XC90) and Chinese (XC40 and XC60) factories than its premium rivals.

The Volvo XC40 topped its premium small SUV market with 613 sales and 30.6 per cent market share, placing it well ahead of the Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X1. Impressively, the XC40 Recharge electric model account for 28 per cent of this tally.

The larger XC60 was number four in its segment with 307 sales, just behind the Mercedes-Benz GLC (312) but ahead of the Lexus NX (231, with a wait list beyond a year in some cases).

The seven-seat XC90 found 156 buyers in May, number five in segment behind the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Lexus RX and Range Rover Sport, but ahead of the Porsche Cayenne and Land Rover Defender.

Volvo’s S60 sedan (22 sales in May) and V60 Cross Country (23) are much more niche propositions, with the three core SUVs still its bedrock vehicles.

Year-to-date Volvo sits fourth, but its five-month sales figure (4598, up 5.6 per cent) is extremely close to Audi (4690, down 36.7 per cent). If the trend continues, Volvo could end the year as Australia’s number-three premium car brand.

In terms of product, the company has expanded the XC40 Recharge EV range with a cheaper single-motor variant, which replaces the now-axed PHEV model. Additionally, the all-new C40 electric crossover is also almost on sale, priced from $74,990 before on-roads.

“May was another outstanding month for Volvo which continues to consistently out-perform its competitors in the luxury segment,” said managing director Stephen Connor.

“Achieving our biggest sales months on record was an impressive feat when you consider the overall Australian car market declined by 6.4 per cent, and the premium segment declined by 14.4 per cent.

“Volvo is recording double-digit year-on-year growth which reinforces Volvo’s standing as one of the fastest growing and respected luxury car brands in Australia.”

Mr Connor said he wanted the company’s all-electric range to drive further growth, and is shooting for more than half its sales to be EV from 2025 onwards.

“The future of Volvo Cars is electric, and I plan to make Australia lead our global strategy by being ahead of our global stated goal.” Mr Connor said. On this note, its outstanding order bank as of April 30 comprised 60 per cent EVs and PHEVs.

The next major cab off the rank for Volvo will be the brand new, electric XC90 replacement, which will be revealed in the final quarter of 2022. It was previewed by the Concept Recharge and will share a platform with the sleeker new Polestar 3.

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Mike Costello
Mike Costello
Mike Costello is the News Editor at CarExpert.
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