Swedish carmaker Volvo Car Group, owned by China’s Geely, announced recently its 2014 operating profit jumped 17.5% after posting record sales figures last year, buoyed by the very rapid growth in China and the continued recovery in Europe.
The two major regions, China – the world’s largest auto market – and Europe, the carmaker’s home base, managed to offset a slumping demand in what was once the brand’s largest market – the United States. Volvo delivered its best year of sales to date in 2014, with a record 465,866 units – though the level is far from the company’s goal of selling 800,000 vehicles in 2020 and bite into the premium market share owned by the three German rivals – BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said the automaker now expects to surge past the half a million mark this year, outpacing overall growth in the two markets that buoyed the brand last year – China and Europe. It also envisioned a returned to positive results for the struggling US unit.
The Gothenburg-based company, which now belongs to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group after purchasing it back in 2010 from the second largest US automaker – Ford, announced that 2014’s full-year operating earnings soared from 1.92 billion Swedish crowns in the previous year to 2.25 billion Swedish crowns ($302 million). Buoyed by rising deliveries for its top models such as the XC60 crossover the Group posted total revenue last year of 129.96 billion crowns, up from 122.25 billion in 2013. The company last year also launched the second generation of the flagship XC90 SUV, the first model developed entirely under Chinese ownership.