- Volvo enjoys local and global sales success
- The company bags numerous awards
- The XC40 is named 2019 AutoTrader South African Car of the Year finalist
Volvo Cars had nothing short of an exceptional 2018! The company clocked up record sales both here in South Africa and globally, it pocketed awards galore and the XC40 was named a finalist in the 2019 AutoTrader South African Car of the Year contest!
Volvo Cars South Africa has bucked the trend locally. While total passenger car sales in South Africa declined by 0.8% in 2018 – from 368 114 to 365 246 units – Volvo grew both sales and market share.
“Our sales grew by 37%” said Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director of Volvo Cars South Africa. “The star of the show was the reigning World Car of the Year, the XC60, which increased sales in South Africa by 27% despite only launching in May. The XC90 also had a good year, increasing sales by 13%,” Maruszewski notes.
The XC60 is also the company’s top seller worldwide. Last year Volvo sold 189 459 XC60s globally, versus 184 966 unit sales in 2017.
According to AutoTrader CEO, George Mienie, interest in the Volvo brand is rapidly growing in South Africa. “There were a whopping 1,8 million searches for Volvo on AutoTrader during 2018. This search volume is 290% up on 2017, with the XC60 the most searched for model in the range,” he reveals.
The success of Volvo Cars South Africa is in keeping with the global success of the brand. In 2018, it grew sales by 12.4%, breaking the 600 000 sales milestone for the first time since the company was founded in 1927. Last year was the fifth consecutive year of record global sales for Volvo Cars.
After 2018, Volvo Cars has a very full trophy cabinet. Most significantly, the Volvo XC40 premium compact SUV was named Women’s World Car of the Year, European Car of the Year, and What Car? Car of the Year. The XC60 mid-size SUV won the World Car of the Year. Now the XC40 could win South Africa’s highest motoring accolade. “It is a finalist in the 2019 AutoTrader South African Car of the Year competition. Accordingly, it could win overall and/or it could win the Leisure SUVs and Crossovers category,” Mienie points out.
Success for the XC40 is not guaranteed though. “It is facing competition from the 11 other finalists when it comes to the overall honours. And, within the Leisure SUVs and Crossovers category, it is up against the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Hyundai Kona, Porsche Cayenne and Renault Duster … four strong contenders,” says Mienie.
However Volvo has already stunned motor industry observers, in that it has been transformed from a loss-making company (as recently as 2009, it posted a pre-tax loss of $653 million) into a massively successful undertaking. Not only is Volvo making handsome profits, it is also impressing with its technology. For instance, it is developing autonomous and electric vehicles. In fact, it aims to have sold a total of up to 1 million electrified cars by 2025.
Clearly, the company is full of surprises, as Hakan Samuelsson, its global CEO recently confirmed: "It shouldn't be possible for the bumblebee to fly, but it does. This (Volvo’s success) falls into the same category."