Almost every brand is doing better than in a COVID-riddled 2020, but Volvo believes its strong post-lockdown rebound has it on track for a huge goal.

    Volvo Car Australia’s managing director, Stephen Connor, says the company is on track to crack 10,000 vehicle sales for the first time.

    That’s on the back of four successive months of sales growth, with Volvo’s year-to-date sales up by nearly 84 per cent to 3411 units.

    In April, Volvo sold 794 cars, or 176 per cent more than 12 months ago.

    “We have maintained a very consistent double-digit sales trajectory this year that has enabled us to secure even more production for quarter three and quarter four, so I am confident 10,000 sales are very achievable for us in 2021,” said Mr Connor.

    Volvo says it could have done even better had 300 vehicles not been held up in local quarantine inspections in April, though this suggests May could be yet another month of growth for the brand.

    Last year, Mr Connor’s predecessor, Nick Connor (no relation), told CarExpert Volvo Car Australia had been targeting around 9000 units in 2020 before COVID-19 hit.

    In 2019, Volvo sold 7779 vehicles while in 2020 its sales were essentially flat at 7700 sales, a decline of just 1.0 per cent.

    That meant it weathered 2020 better than the likes of Land Rover (down 28.6 per cent), Lexus (down 8.0 per cent) and Mercedes-Benz Cars (down 7.9 per cent), though Audi was up by 1.0 per cent and BMW was up 0.9 per cent.

    Volvo’s crossover line-up deserves the glory for its growth, with S60 sedan and V60 wagon sales paltry at best with 30 and 14 units year-to-date respectively.

    The company has sold 1424 examples of its XC40 so far this year, making it the second best-selling vehicle in the small luxury SUV segment behind only the Audi Q3 (2143 sales).

    The XC60 is also a podium finisher with 1374 sales, outsold in the mid-sized luxury SUV segment by only the Mercedes-Benz GLB (1437) and BMW X3 (1429).

    Volvo has also sold 569 XC90 crossovers so far this year, putting it ahead of rivals like the Audi Q7 and Volkswagen Touareg (499 and 542) and within striking distance of the Lexus RX (630).

    The shift to a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty in 2020 gives Volvo a selling point over the likes of BMW and Lexus, which have shorter warranty periods.

    While the local arm has discontinued the V90 Cross Country and will drop the V60 wagon, it has fresh product coming this year.

    That includes the indirect replacement for those two vehicles, the V60 Cross Country, which is due in the third quarter of this year, plus a freshened version of the XC60 at the same time.

    Volvo’s first all-electric model, the XC40 Recharge EV, is also due before the end of 2021.

    It’ll be followed next year by the related C40 Recharge EV, with Volvo planning to launch five all-electric models over the next five years.

    The all-electric Polestar brand is also launching in Australia this year. While it’ll be sold as a standalone brand in Australia, Polestar vehicles will be serviced and repaired in Volvo dealerships.

    All Volvos sold in Australia from July 2021 onwards will be mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or all-electric.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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