Sweden’s luxury automaker Volvo Car Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., reported its deliveries last month slid 1.3 percent year-over-year as the new XC90 sport utility flagship only started shipments.
The first batches of the new generation XC90 were fewer and unable to fully compensate for the high deliveries seen last year for the old model, with the Sweden-based firm saying it sold a total of 39,919 units last month. The deliveries were down 4 percent at home in Sweden but advanced 8.6 percent across western Europe. Meanwhile, Chinese deliveries fell 2.2 percent and US sales remained level compared to the same period of 2014. The company has opted to refer to all other markets as “others” and they were the main reason for the negative performance in May, plunging 18.8 percent compared to the same period a year ago.
The company added that sales data for upcoming months should revert to a positive trend, with orders for 36,000 units of the new XC90 not yet accounted in the sales figures – the flagship crossover is seen as the key model for the automaker that seeks to gain market share in a segment long dominated by the German competitors. The XC90 SUV is also the first model developed fully under Chinese ownership, after Zhejiang Geely purchased the troubled premium automaker four years ago from Ford, and is also the model that signals the entire range’s update and a switch towards more luxurious offerings.