Volvo USA CEO optimistic ahead of 2012 image

John Maloney, the new CEO of Volvo Cars U.S., says it expects sales to grow 25 percent in 2012, as Chinese ownership provides stability and resources for the company.

Maloney expects Volvo’s U.S. sales in 2012 to be surpass 65,000 units, about 25 percent above 2010’s 53,948 units. The executive forecasts U.S. light-vehicle sales to rise to 13.5 million units in 2013, with Volvo further rising 8 to 10 percent despite no new products except the XC90 facelift in January next year.

He also said sales in the U.S. could have grown more in 2011, but supplies of the XC60 mid-sized crossover and the redesigned S60 sedan were tight during the year. This is why Volvo is increasing production in Sweden to improve supply in the first quarter of 2012.

The biggest sales increase in 2011 came from the redesigned S60 sedan, launched in late 2010, whose sales were up 18,000 units over 2010 to 19,331 units. Maloney’s optimism for 2012 is partly due to Volvo’s spending on advertising, which was double in 2011 compared to 2010. Most of the money is being spent on national cable TV commercials. According to Kantar Media, marketing spending rose to $42.5 million in the first nine months of 2011, from $31 million in 2010.