Volvo records staggering 80% PHEV sales growth in 1H 2020, but YOY sales down by 21% at 269,962 units

Volvo has just released its first half report, stating that it sold 269,962 vehicles during the first six months of 2020. That is a 20.8% drop compared to the same period last year, a dip caused by lengthy Covid-19 lockdowns imposed in many of its key markets.

Total production volume and wholesales dipped by 17.8% and 19.5% respectively, but some markets are already showing signs of recovery, with June sales being nearly on par with last year’s level. China is currently the strongest performing market for the Swedish automaker with 24.4% (65,741 units, down just 3% year-on-year) of global retail sales, followed by the US (16%) and Europe.

Its SUV portfolio (XC40, XC60 and XC90) makes up the lion’s share of sales, representing 68.5% of total retail sales, up from 60.7% in 1H 2019. Unsurprisingly, the midsize XC60 remains its best-selling model, with 78,761 units sold (down from 97,208 units in 1H 2019). Sales for the S60 rose by 23.8% due to higher demand in Europe and China (it was launched in both markets in January 2020), whereas sales of the XC40 increased by 10.5%.

Volvo records staggering 80% PHEV sales growth in 1H 2020, but YOY sales down by 21% at 269,962 units

Meanwhile, Volvo posted an operating loss of -989 million Swedish krona (RM476 million) in 1H 2020, and revenue fell by 14.1% to 111.8 billion krona (RM53.8 billion). However, Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said business is expected to recover in the second half of the year as car markets normalise. “The downturn we saw in the first half is a temporary one. We expect to see a strong recovery in the second half of the year and our Recharge range of electrified cars puts us in a strong position to meet the emerging trends we are seeing,” he said.

Currently, Volvo prides itself by being the only manufacturer that offers a plug-in hybrid variant for every model it offers. In fact, the automaker sold 37,775 units of PHEV models in the first half, up significantly from 21,015 units (or 79.8%!) in the same period last year. That’s 14% of the total vehicles sold, landing credence to Samuelsson’s belief that the company’s focus on electrification and connectivity will contribute to long-term growth.

“This demonstrates a strong trend towards our strategic ambition of being a company electrifying faster than rivals. This pandemic has strengthened our confidence that our strategic ambitions are the right ones and that an accelerated transformation of our business will lead to long-term growth. We will continue to focus on and invest in electrification, online sales and connectivity,” he noted.

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