VOLVO IS ON track to sell significantly more SUVs and crossovers than any other type of vehicle by the end of the decade, according to Peter Mertens, the brand’s research and development boss. Speaking at the unveiling of the new V90 Cross Country, Mertens said the arrival of the XC40compact crossover in early 2018 would be a landmark for Volvo. The XC40 is one of three all-new 40-series models and will go on sale before the hatchback and estate versions. Mertens said the customer shift to crossovers and SUVs was driving sales in its largest markets, especially Sweden, the US and China. Volvo won’t say how many XC40s it expects to sell in a full year, but it’s likely to be close to six figures. Last year Volvo sold 503,127 cars globally.
According to the company’s figures, sales of all of the brand’s Cross Country and XC models together totalled just short of 267,000 units, which means more than 50% of sales are already crossovers and SUVs. The biggest-selling model globally was the now ageing XC60, which shifted 159,617 units last year. The next bestselling model was the V40 hatch, at just 83,357 units. Volvo also sold 40,261 examples of the all-new XC90, 30,175 XC70s and 23,274 V40 Cross Countrys. In the first six months of this year, the new XC90 was up strongly at 51,810 units, pointing to full-year sales of more than 100,000 units. The XC70 was also 10% up, with 19,250 sales in the same period, and the V60 Cross Country sold 10,316 units. Only XC60 and V40 Cross Country sales slipped slightly back.