And it is predicting strong sales for 2008. Despite the 1.62% dip in sales last year, Volvo says the figures were better than expected. It lost about 500 buyers in the end total of 30,058, but says it ended 8% higher than budget.
Sales through leasing companies increased 12% over the previous year and total fleet sales, excluding demonstrators and rental cars, increased by 117%.
The figures follow a realignment of the product range, which has reduced running costs and improved residual values, making the vehicles more attractive to private and corporate buyers.
In turn, this has led to lower monthly rental fees for the Volvo range. Introducing the entry level 2.0-litre diesel engine into the V70 and S80 has further increased the brand’s ability to target corporate sales.
John Wallace, Volvo corporate sales and leasing manager, said: “Our used car performance demonstrates that second-hand buyers clearly welcome the opportunity to buy Volvo used cars and have paid very strong prices.
“The knock on effect of higher residual values is lower contract hire rates for company car fleets as well as reduced personal contract purchase costs for retail motorists. The high speed at which we have turned our cars into cash has also improved our bottom line.”
Specialist sales were strong last year, rising 48% over 2006 largely due to increased demand for rapid response police cars and single occupant ambulances. Volvo intends to channel more of these sales through its dealer network, who will receive warranty work in areas where the forces do not carry out their own repairs.