Volvo Cars arrives at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show on the back of an extremely strong performance in Europe in 2014 during which it grew significantly faster than its competitors, according to independent figures compiled by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).
Sales of Volvo cars in the 32 countries that are part of the European Union and European Free Trade Area rose 10.7 per cent in 2014, while sales of Audi increased 4.5 per cent, BMW 5.5 per cent and Mercedes 5.7 per cent, ACEA said.
Volvo's performance was underpinned by an extremely strong year for the XC60 crossover, which generated registrations of 70,257 in 2014 in Europe, outselling the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and the Mercedes GLK, according to independent research firm IHS Automotive/Polk.
Speaking at the opening of the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive, said: "The European car market is recovering and Volvo is growing faster than the overall market as well as taking market share from our competitors. We expect these trends to continue in 2015."
In total in 2014, Volvo sold 243,514 cars in Europe, 52.3 per cent of its total sales for the year of 465,866. So far in 2015, Volvo's sales in Europe have continued to increase.
Volvo Cars' strong performance in 2014 is expected to continue this year, said Mr Samuelsson.
Volvo Cars expects sales and profitability to show a clear improvement in 2015, driven by continued growth in China and Europe and a return to growth in the US.
The combined effect of this strong global performance and the introduction of the all new XC90 during 2015 means overall sales should approach 500,000 cars, up from 465,866 in 2014, said Mr Samuelsson.
Increased sales will drive the company’s improvement in profitability for the full year, aided by favourable currency movements, Mr Samuelsson added.
The all new Volvo XC90
Volvo Cars is showing the full range of the all new XC90 SUV for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show. Volvo is expecting to manufacture around 50,000 XC90s in 2015 and has already pre-sold 18,000, before it has even arrived in dealerships, around one third of expected volume for the year. Mr Samuelsson described these early sales as "a very encouraging sign".
The all-new Volvo XC90 is built on entirely new, in-house financed and developed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) technology, which improves driveability and provides a wider range of design options. SPA will be used across the product range in future and will generate economies of scale, improvements in productivity and improved profitability.
The XC90 also features Volvo Cars’ new Drive-E powertrains and the most comprehensive safety package on the market as standard, including several world-first technologies.
It is Volvo Cars’ long term strategic ambition to further develop its position as a global premium car maker. Driven by the complete renewal of its product range in the next five years, Volvo is aiming to double sales to around 800,000 cars a year by around the year 2020 while always improving profitability.
Volvo Car Group in 2014
For the 2014 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 2,252 MSEK (1,919 MSEK in 2013). Revenue over the period amounted to 129,959 MSEK (122,245 MSEK). For the full year 2014, global sales reached a record 465,866 cars, an increase of 8.9 per cent versus 2013. The record sales and operating profit cleared the way for Volvo Car Group to continue investing in its global transformation plan.
About Volvo Car Group
Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 465,866 in 2014 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.
As of December 2014, Volvo Cars had over 25,000 employees worldwide. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for China is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium) and Chengdu (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).