STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -- Volvo’s global sales fell 1.3 percent to 39,919 vehicles in May as the first shipments of the new XC90 did not fully compensate for higher volumes of the old model sold in the same month a year ago.
Volvo's sales declined by 4 percent in Sweden last month but rose 8.6 percent in the rest of Western Europe, the company said in a statement today. Sales in China dropped 2.2 percent while U.S. sales increased by 0.2 percent. Sales in what the company calls "other markets" were the main drag in May, falling 18.8 percent.
Volvo said it had now received more than 36,000 pre-orders for the new XC90, which are not included in the latest sales data.
The XC90 is seen as representing the future of Volvo as it aims to double annual global sales to 800,000 vehicles by 2020 and compete successfully in a premium market dominated by German rivals. The XC90 is the first fully new car produced under Zhejiang Geely, which bought Volvo from Ford Motor four years ago. The SUV heralds the revamp of its entire product range to more upmarket models.
Volvo spokesman Stefan Elfstrom said the main reason for the sales drop was due to the product cycle, where it recently started to deliver its new XC90 model to customers. "If you look at the same period last year we had meaningful sales of the first XC90 generation, and now we have just started to ship the new model," Elfstrom said.
Volvo has just added a third production shift at its plant in Gothenburg, Sweden to boost output of the SUV. U.S. and China sales of the XC90 will begin next month.
Volvo's global sales fell 0.1 percent to 185,764 in the first five months.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report