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Volvo confidence grows as sales buck falling trend

The XC60 joins a Volvo range currently on the rise despite a falling UK new car market.

Kevin Meeks, network and business development director for Volvo UK, said that despite the total market being down in September, the brand is showing double-digit growth for the month.

Meeks said: “We have a long way to get back to the sort of numbers we were doing in the late 1990s when we were selling 80-90,000 vehicles a year.But we have some good new products in the showrooms and with the XC60 coming, if we can get people into the cars we know we can sell them.”

Sales of the C30 have been slow since launch in January 2007, but Meeks said the R Design styling package has boosted interest in it.

“R Design has hit a sweet spot with customers. The cars look more dynamically engaging and we are getting a lot more showroom traffic. Importantly, we are getting more interest from the 30-35 age range,” he aded.

Volvo is expecting to sell 35-36,000 cars this year, up from 30,000 in 2007. The growth is being led by the renewed interest in the C30 and strong sales of the V50.

Dealers are also working harder, he said. “The network is a lot happier with the franchise than two years ago when we were in the lower quarter of the National Franchised Dealer Association’s attitude survey. 

“We have now moved up 13 places. The feedback we are getting is much better and dealer profitability has improved. 

This is partly down to them as well – they are working harder and focusing better on fixed costs and just being smarter about the way they do business.”

Despite the tough market conditions, Volvo will not be looking to offer big sales incentives or over supply dealers with vehicles.

Meeks added: “We are looking to balance the supply and protect residual values.”

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