Volvo Cars first quarter global sales dropped 18 percent

2018 Volvo XC40 images

Volvo Cars sold 131,889 cars in the first quarter of 2020, dropping 18.2 per cent compared with the same period in 2019. The company’s global sales performance was hit by the continued spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, Volvo Cars global sales reached 46,395 cars, dropping 31.2 per cent compared with the same period last year, because of weakening demand in Europe and the US. China meanwhile is showing some signs of recovery, as showroom traffic is now improving.

During the January to March quarter, the XC60 was the best selling model for the company, after the XC40 and the XC90. SUVs represented 67.9 per cent of the company’s overall sales in the period, increasing from 60.3 per cent in the first quarter last year.

Volvo Cars’ Recharge line-up of chargeable Volvo models maintained a strong sales momentum in the first quarter, comprising of 14.7 per cent of all cars sold in the period. The comparable share at the end of the same period last year stood at 7.4 per cent. Recharge is the overarching brand name for all chargeable Volvo models with a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain.

China sales during the quarter reached 20,780 cars, dropping 30.5 per cent as compared with the same period last year, mainly because of the lower sales performance in January and February. In March, showroom traffic in the region started to improve. Earlier this month Volvo Cars also restarted its four manufacturing plants in China after an extended closure because of the spread of the coronavirus.

US sales in the January to March period were at 19,485 cars, dropping 11.7 percent, compared with the same period in 2019. A majority of States in the country have issued stay-at-home orders which has resulted in a significant drop in showroom traffic in March that impacted the first quarter volumes.

Volvo Cars’ sales in Europe reached 70,510 cars in the first three months of this year, dropping 18.5 percent as compared with the same period in 2019. The sales performance was mainly impacted in March because of restricted movement in several major markets including Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Belgium and others.

A detailed break-up of regional sales is provided as follow:

 March  January-March  
 20192020Change20192020Change
Europe37,32524,258-35%86,52070,510-18.5%
China11,4139,560-16.2%29,88620,780-30.5%
US9,5695,487-42.7%22,05819,485-11.7%
Other9,1507,090-22.5%22,85621,114-7.6%
Total67,45746,395-31.2%161,320131,889-18.2%

In the first three months, the XC60 was the company’s best selling model with total sales of 36,930 cars (2019: 46,259 cars), after the XC40 with 34,268 cars (2019: 28,903 cars) and the XC90 with 18,327 cars (2019: 22,073 cars).

Coronavirus has so far infected over 1,098,390 people and killed 59,159 worldwide.

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