Swedish luxury automaker Volvo has recently reported its financial results for the first half of 2020. As expected, the COVID-19 pandemic left an impact on the company’s bottom line. However, not everything is as bad as you probably think, because Volvo’s plug-in hybrid sales have increased dramatically for the first half of 2020.
Volvo expects its business to recover in the second half of the year, as car markets normalize. While sales fell in absolute numbers during the first half, Volvo took market share in China, the US, and Europe. Germany was among the strongest performing markets in the Swedish luxury automaker’s portfolio.
The company returned to sales growth in China in the second quarter and made up much of the ground lost in the first quarter, as it recorded an overall sales drop of only 3 percent in the first half. The US also returned to growth in June, although sales fell by 13.7 percent year-on-year in the first half. Sales in Europe were 29.5 percent lower during the six-month period.
The overall passenger car market in China declined by 26 percent in the first half of 2020, while the US and Europe fell by 24 percent and 38 percent respectively during the same period.
As a whole, Volvo’s global sales during the first six months of 2020 fell by 20.8 percent to 269,962 cars, as governments in many key markets implemented stay-at-home orders or other restrictions on movement, severely affecting economic activity and showroom traffic.
Not all is bad news, though. Despite the overall decrease in sales, Volvo’s plug-in hybrid sales have increased by a whopping 79.8 percent this year, bringing the company closer to its target of plug-in hybrids accounting for 20 percent of overall sales by 2020.
“The downturn we saw in the first half is a temporary one,” says the chief executive. “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.”
Volvo is the only luxury automaker to offer a plug-in hybrid variant in its entire model line-up. Later this year, it will start production of the XC40 P8 Recharge, the company’s first fully electric model, and the first of several fully electric models to be launched in the coming years.