Volvo’s global sales grew for the first time this year in July and the positive trend continued last month. Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson credits the quick rebound on the brevity of its production shutdown in Sweden and continued strong demand for the XC40 compact SUV. He also discussed the lasting changes he foresees from the pandemic, the benefits he expects from a planned merger with Geely Automobile and why his commitment to partnerships is stronger than ever. Samuelsson shared his views with Automotive News Europe Managing Editor Douglas A. Bolduc via a video chat from Volvo’s headquarters near Gothenburg.
What is your outlook for Volvo for the rest of the year?
In July we were up 14 percent and that trend continued in August [with global sales rising 7 percent]. That means we are taking market share.
Why is Volvo outperforming the market?
Because we have good products, starting with the XC40, which has been selling really well [global sales were up 23 percent to 100,913 through August]. A compact premium SUV seems to be exactly the right car at the moment. Soon it will be offered with a full-electric powertrain, making it a very attractive alternative to the Tesla Model 3.