Volvo's car sales rise 8% as China, Europe gains offset weak U.S. volume

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -- Volvo's global vehicle sales rose 8 percent year-on-year in August, boosted largely by robust gains in China and brisk sales in western Europe, where the company has launched a number of models with low-CO2 powertrains.

Volvo sold 29,257 cars last month, boosted by growth of 43 percent in China and 19 percent in western Europe. Sales in Germany and France rose more than 50 percent. It was the group's 14th consecutive month of growth.

Sales in the United States were down 10 percent.

"With continued positive developments in key markets, Volvo Cars is clearly on track toward an all-time high sales result for this year," said Alain Visser, Volvo's sales and marketing head, in a statement.

Volvo's eight-month global sales were up 9 percent to 294,709 units.

The automaker reported operating earnings of 1.21 billion crowns ($176.5 million) for the first half versus a loss of 577 million a year earlier.

Volvo aims to nearly double annual sales to 800,000 cars by 2020 and make inroads in a premium market dominated by BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

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