Location Front Quarter Volvo S90 Mussel Blue

Volvo is aiming for a hat-trick of annual record sales, as it targets an all-time best for 2016. Volvo Cars president and CEO Håkan Samuelsson also forecast that operating profits would improve in 2016, driven by growth in all of Volvo’s three main sales regions of China, Europe and the US.

The forecast came the same day Volvo reported that its operating profit trebled in 2015 to SEK6.6 billion (RM3.29 billion), up from SEK2.13 billion (RM1.06 billion) for the same period in 2014, while revenues for the year hit SEK164 billion (RM81.8 billion) compared with SEK137.6 billion (RM68.6 billion) in 2014.

The rise in profits was backed by an all-time sales record of 503,127 cars in 2015, the first time Volvo sold more than half a million cars in its 89-year history. Sales were boosted by the introduction of the new 90 series cars and strong sales of existing models. 2014’s 466,000 cars was also a record.

Volvo V90 Location 3/4 Rear

Volvo is implementing a SEK75 billion (RM37.4 billion) transformation programme as part of its long-term strategic ambition to become a global premium carmaker. Driven by the complete renewal of its product range, Volvo is aiming to almost double sales to around 800,000 cars a year in the medium term.

The company made good progress towards achieving these goals in 2015. Production of the much-anticipated new XC90 commenced. By the end of the year, the company had received more than 88,000 orders for the big SUV, far surpassing initial expectations. Production of the XC90 also led to the introduction of a third shift at the Torslanda plant in Sweden for the first time since 2008, creating nearly 1,500 new manufacturing jobs.

In the first half of 2015, Volvo also restructured the company to more accurately reflect how and where it does business by incorporating its three joint-venture operations in China, providing a more accurate financial and operational picture of the company.

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In the second half of the year, construction started on Volvo’s new US$500 million (RM2.1 billion) manufacturing facility in South Carolina in the United States, which is due to be operational in 2018. The new plant means the Chinese-owned Swedish brand will be able to build and sell cars in each of its three core regions – Europe, the US and China – in line with its global aspirations.

In December 2015, Volvo revealed its new S90 flagship saloon. The S90 is the second new model based on Volvo’s modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) after the XC90, and the third one will be the V90 wagon, which will make its motor show debut in Geneva. The Swedes are also ready to unveil a facelifted V40, which is just around the corner. The XC90 was recently awarded the 2016 North American Truck of the Year award.

Late last year, Volvo launched the new XC90 in Malaysia. The seven-seater is available here in top T8 Twin Engine form (plug-in hybrid with a combined 407 hp/640 Nm) and the highest Inscription line for RM453,888. Read our launch report and test drive report for more.

GALLERY: Volvo S90

GALLERY: Volvo V90