Why do the heels crack

Volvo wants to crack 1997 all-time high in Germany

Volvo ended the previous year with record sales and rising profits. This is how it should continue in 2017. In Germany, the car manufacturer wants to crack the all-time high from 1997, as Germany boss Thomas Bauch said.

From Frank Mertens

The Swedish car maker Volvo can be satisfied. In the previous year, the group was not only able to increase its worldwide deliveries by 6.2 percent to 534,332 vehicles, thus achieving a new sales record, but also significantly increasing its operating result. It rose to 1.2 billion euros. In 2015 it was still 698 million euros, as the company announced at the presentation of the annual results this Wednesday in Stockholm. Sales rose by ten percent to 19.1 billion euros and the return on sales from four to 6.1 percent.

In the same period, sales increased from 164.0 billion SEK (17.3 billion euros) to 180.7 billion SEK (19.1 billion euros), an increase of ten percent. The return on sales also improved again - from four to 6.1 percent in 2016.

Sales at an all-time high

“Volvo goes from one success to the next. The new models are successful, sales are climbing to an all-time high and profits are increasing sustainably, ”said Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson. For 2017 he expects another record year. The Swedes' growth is being supported by a major model offensive. The 90 series was completed last year. So not only the S90, the V90, but also the V90 Cross Country came onto the market. China proved to be the most important market. Volvo sold 90,930 vehicles there in the previous year, an increase of 11.5 percent compared to 2015. Volvo was able to grow even more strongly in the USA: Here sales rose by over 18 percent to 82,726 vehicles. This is followed by Sweden (70,268 vehicles), Great Britain (46,669) and Germany (39,923).

On the German market, Volvo increased by eleven percent. Volvo only had a market share of 1.2 percent. "But we came to a segment share of five percent," said Germany managing director Thomas Bauch on the sidelines of a driving event in Berchtesgaden. And the upward trend for Volvo in Germany should continue this year. Although Bauch did not name a specific sales figure for 2017, he said that much. “We want to do better this year than at the all-time high of 1998.” At that time, Volvo sold 42,267 vehicles.

XC60 celebrates its premiere in Geneva

The chances that this will succeed are excellent for the brand. Because the new XC60 is celebrating its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. The SUV is the bestseller among customers. In the previous year it led the sales ranking in Germany with 14,525 units ahead of the premium SUV XC90 (7378) and the V40 (5408). The new XC60 will be on the market from summer, so it will still be able to positively influence the sales figures this year. The Swedes will then continue their model offensive in autumn with the presentation of the XC40 compact SUV. With this model, you will come much closer to your goal of 60,000 units in Germany by 2020 from 2018.

In addition to the increase in sales, Bauch was also almost completely satisfied with the new business models such as the Sweden fleet (a rental car offer), Sweden leasing and Sweden insurance. “We wanted to sell 2000 vehicles with Sweden Leasing, and it has increased to 7000. The offer suits our customers' tastes,” said Bauch with satisfaction.

Add to insurance

However, there is still room for improvement in insurance. Ten percent of contracts were concluded here in the context of sales in the previous year. "That's good for the start, but our goal here is 60 percent," said Bauch. Together with Allianz, Volvo provides its customers with insurance offers that focus in particular on the aspect of safety, a core competence of the Swedes. Customers who opt for driver assistance systems receive correspondingly cheaper policies.

With a view to global developments, Volvo is relying on partnerships with autonomous driving such as the one with the driving service provider Uber and, from September, with Autoliv, with which software for self-driving cars is to be developed together. “With these alliances, Volvo Cars is preparing for the upcoming changes in the automotive industry. We will continue to pursue the topics of sustainable profitability, increasing sales and new business initiatives in 2017, ”said Samuelsson.

After studying sports and journalism, he volunteered in a news agency. He then worked as a sports journalist and accompanied three Olympic Games as a reporter. Even then, he was more interested in the background than the result. He has been reporting on the automotive industry since 2005. In addition to the Autogazette, he is also responsible for the electrified magazine.