Volvo Vehicles CEO says demand holding up regardless of COVID spike, Auto Information, Automobilnews
STOCKHOLM: Swedish carmaker Volvo Vehicles expects to hit its forecast of roughly flat gross sales year-on-year within the second half of 2020 at the same time as a latest a surge in instances throughout Europe makes the outlook extra unsure, Chief Government Hakan Samuelsson informed Reuters.Volvo, purchased by China’s Geely Holding in 2010, has repositioned itself throughout Samuelsson’s tenure as a premium carmaker with a spread of widespread sports activities utility autos (SUVs), taking up far bigger rivals corresponding to BMW and Mercedes .
It notched a sixth straight annual gross sales file in 2019, of greater than 700,000 vehicles, and whereas hit by the pandemic earlier this yr has seen a pointy rebound in latest months, helped by power in China and the US.
“We’ve got a second wave in Europe which is making the outlook a bit extra unsure, however July and August began very effectively, and for September we’re roughly on the identical stage as final yr,” Samuelsson informed Reuters.
“For the remainder of the yr I’d say our base case remains to be to be again roughly at the place we had been final yr.”Samuelsson mentioned Volvo had out there manufacturing capability at its U.S. plant and in China, whereas its European factories in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Ghent, Belgium, had been working at full capability.
Earlier this yr the group unveiled plans for a merger with its sister firm Geely Car, however talks are on maintain as Geely works to listing its shares on China’s Nasdaq-like STAR board.
Samuelsson, 69, a former govt at truckmakers Scania and MAN, mentioned Volvo was engaged on the matter internally and anticipated to announce information on the way in which ahead earlier than year-end.
“Volvo’s Swedish and Geely’s Chinese language, and if we do one thing collectively it must be a powerful international internationally ruled group, with a world administration and board,” he mentioned.
“The query is how we must always resolve that… There are completely different fashions for securing the synergies that by the top of the day are the primary cause for this.”
Volvo, which goals for half the vehicles it sells to be totally electrical by 2025 and plans to separate its combustion engine enterprise right into a standalone unit, will begin manufacturing of its first totally electrical automotive, the XC40 Recharge P8, this month.
After that, it plans to launch one new totally electrical automotive per yr.”I feel the timing is ideal,” Samuelsson mentioned. “The pandemic has clearly accelerated the transformation to electrical, and we’re extra dedicated than ever to go in that course.”