Volvo Cars achieved record global sales success in 2018, with over 600,000 vehicles sold for the first time in its history.
Ahead of official publication of new car registrations for the UK in 2018 by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) on Monday (January 7), the Swedish manufacturer today revealed that it had sold 642,253 cars globally during the period – an increase of 12.37% on 2017’s 571,577.
The new sales record was actually secured by the end of November, with December bringing a further 60,157 registrations globally.
In the UK to the end of November, Volvo Cars UK generated 46,479 new car registrations, up 8.23% on 2017’s 42,944 for the period in a market down by 6.91%.
Volvo revealed that sales of its SUVs to the US and Chinese markets had accounted for the bulk of its growth last year.
It said: “In the January-to-December period, US sales grew by 20.6% to 98,263 cars compared with the same period the year before.
“The strong performance came on the back of growing demand for its SUV line-up, led by the XC60. The made-in-the-US S60 saloons have also started reaching dealerships and should contribute to volumes in 2019. In December, Volvo Cars sold 8,826 cars in the US market.”
The manufacturer added: “Sales in China grew by 14.1% to 130,593 cars during the year, as compared with the same period the year before.
“The demand was spearheaded by the locally assembled XC60 and the S90 models. For December, total sales in the region reached 11,868 cars, up 17.9%.”
In Europe Volvo’s new car sales rose by 6.4% overall to 317,838 cars in 2018.
The XC60 was the company’s top-selling model, with sales reaching 189,459 cars (2017: 184,966), followed by the XC90, with total sales at 94,182 cars (2017: 87,518), and the Volvo V40/V40 Cross Country at 77,587 cars (2017: 95,370).
This year sees to the introduction of Volvo’s new alternatively-fuelled (AFV) performance sister brand, Polestar, to the UK market.
The Geely-owned operation will introduce 60 Polestar Spaces to retail the cars from, globally, by 2020.
Promoting a format that sees metropolitan sites across the globe staffed by a zero-commission workforce to prevent any evidence of the “hard sell”, Volvo’s new performance brand will rely wholly on online sales to gain market traction.
However, existing Volvo franchisees are currently being offered the opportunity to operate a Polestar Space, a spokesman for the brand told AM.
Polestar is set to arrive in the UK with the launch of the Polestar 1 hybrid coupe – a vehicle producing 592bhp from a two-litre turbo engine and electric motors on the rear axle – customers of the Polestar brand can already place a £1,900 deposit to secure the order of the £135,500 car.
Polestar expects to produce 500 Polestar 1s each year once fully up to speed.