Volvo Car Malaysia (VCM) has released its sales figures for 2020, which is a new record since the establishment of the company. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the brand sold 1,950 cars last year, beating the previous record of 1,883 in 2019. VCM sold 1,384 units in 2018, so it’s a big jump in a short time.

For obvious reasons, the first half of 2020 wasn’t very positive for Volvo, which recorded a 56.1% decrease in sales. However, the brand bounced back strongly the second half, with July being one of the best months ever for VCM. The 1,950 units total is a 3.6% increase from 2019.

“We are very proud of what VCM has achieved despite this turbulent time and challenges that we faced. Through the collective efforts of our dealers and staff, as well as the opportune timing of the government’s sales tax holiday, we were able to finish a challenging year strongly. For us, seeing the results of our efforts has further recharged our drive to bring more premium, safe and sustainable cars to Malaysians,” said Nalin Jain, MD of VCM.

Last year, Volvo introduced the CKD locally assembled S60 T8 R-Design as well as Volvo Selekt, the brand’s official certified used car programme. The brand also expanded its network to Sabah with Sebangga Mitsinbo’s 3S centre in Kota Kinabalu.

In an online event this afternoon, Jain said that the pandemic accelerated Volvo’s digitalisation efforts, pointing to VCM’s new Online Ordering System and the Digital Silent Salesman (DSS) 2.0, a platform that digitally displays all details about the cars across all Volvo showrooms. This has eliminated printed brochures, which ties in with the brand’s sustainability goals. Malaysia was the first market globally to roll out the improved DSS 2.0.

In Q3 2020, VCM kicked off Volvo Green Planet, a campaign aimed at driving awareness on the impact of a high carbon footprint. Measures include the Greenterest Calculator (which lets you count your carbon footprint), Green Drive (fully-electric test drives) and Green Seeds. The latter is Volvo literally giving seeds out for you to plant.

Last year also saw the carmaker, which is synonymous with safety, start what it calls a “much needed and controversial conversation”. The brand’s 180 km/h speed cap on its MY21 cars probably won’t be liked by some hardcore petrolheads, but Jain said that the move has received positive feedback from its customers. He likened this to the three-point safety belt, which was slammed by many when Volvo introduced it in 1959. Since then, over one million lives have been saved by the invention, Volvo says.

Moving ahead, Jain says that 2021 will be a very busy year for VCM, and that he’s confident of another new record. “2021 will be a big year for VCM as we look to switch all aspects of our business to incorporate more sustainable solutions and also bring in more products offerings to suit the different needs of Malaysians while helping them make more sustainable choices.

“We will continue to push for digital transformation to build a strong digital system to support our customer’s journey seamlessly – from the beginning of the buying process to owning a Volvo and the after-sales care that they need, while upholding our promise of professional service, leading safety technology, and a caring mindset in everything we do,” he added, while declining to reveal the new models planned for this year.

GALLERY: CKD Volvo S60 T8 R-Design