Volvo Cars CEO says demand holding up despite COVID spike

Volvo Cars CEO says demand holding up despite COVID spike

Reuters  | Sep 24, 2020 16:55

Volvo Cars CEO says demand holding up despite COVID spike

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars expects to hit its forecast of roughly flat sales year-on-year in the second half of 2020 even as a recent a surge in cases across Europe makes the outlook more uncertain, Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson told Reuters.

Volvo, bought by China's Geely Holding in 2010, has repositioned itself during Samuelsson's tenure as a premium carmaker with a range of popular sports utility vehicles (SUVs), taking on far larger rivals such as BMW (DE:BMWG) and Mercedes (DE:DAIGn).

It notched a sixth straight annual sales record in 2019, of more than 700,000 cars, and while hit by the pandemic earlier this year has seen a sharp rebound in recent months, helped by strength in China and the United States.

"We have a second wave in Europe which is making the outlook a bit more uncertain, but July and August started very well, and for September we are roughly on the same level as last year," Samuelsson told Reuters.

"For the rest of the year I would say our base case is still to be back roughly at where we were last year."

Samuelsson said Volvo had available production capacity at its U.S. plant and in China, while its European factories in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Ghent, Belgium, were running at full capacity.

Earlier this year the group unveiled plans for a merger with its sister company Geely Automobile (HK:0175), but talks are on hold as Geely works to list its shares on China's Nasdaq-like STAR board.

Samuelsson, 69, a former executive at truckmakers Scania and MAN, said Volvo was working on the matter internally and expected to announce news on the way forward before year-end.

"Volvo's Swedish and Geely's Chinese, and if we do something together it has to be a strong global internationally governed group, with an international management and board," he said.

"The question is how we should solve that... There are different models for securing the synergies that by the end of the day are the main reason for this."

Volvo, which aims for half the cars it sells to be fully electric by 2025 and plans to separate its combustion engine business into a standalone unit, will start production of its first fully electric car, the XC40 Recharge P8, this month.

After that, it plans to launch one new fully electric car per year.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The 88th Geneva International Motor Show

"I think the timing is perfect," Samuelsson said. "The pandemic has clearly accelerated the transformation to electric, and we are more committed than ever to go in that direction."

Related News

Latest comments

Add a Comment
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Discussion
Write a reply...
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.

Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

English (USA) English (India) English (Canada) English (Australia) English (South Africa) English (Philippines) English (Nigeria) Deutsch Español (España) Español (México) Français Italiano Nederlands Português (Portugal) Polski Português (Brasil) Русский Türkçe ‏العربية‏ Ελληνικά Svenska Suomi עברית 日本語 한국어 简体中文 繁體中文 Bahasa Indonesia Bahasa Melayu ไทย Tiếng Việt हिंदी
Sign out
Are you sure you want to sign out?
NoYes
CancelYes
Saving Changes

+

Download the Investing.com App

Get free real time quotes, charts and alerts on stocks, indices, currencies, commodities and bonds. Get free top of the line technical analysis/predictors.

Investing.com is better on the App!

More content, faster quotes and charts, and a smoother experience is available only on the App.

';