Volvo's Sales Up in 2021, Thanks to EVs

Volvo Cars reported a sales increase of 8.8 percent for the first eleven months of 2021. Through November, Volvo has sold 634,257 cars globally and is on track for a full-year sales increase versus 2020. (Volvo)

Despite the challenges of building and selling new vehicles during a pandemic, Volvo Cars (Volvo) sales have grown 8.8 percent in the first eleven months of 2021, compared to 2020. The total number of vehicles sold by Volvo this year is 634,257, which positions the automaker to increase its sales for the entire calendar year versus 2020.

As has been the story for Volvo this year, one of the reasons for the upswing is the growing popularity of electrified vehicles. While overall global sales decreased 20.7 percent in November 2021 compared to the same month in 2020, sales of Volvo's Recharge models are up 17.6 percent. Recharge is Volvo's name for its plug-in vehicles, whether they have an all-electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Across all global markets, Volvo sold 14,610 plug-in hybrids in November 2021—a 9-percent increase over the 13,401 units sold in November 2020. The number of fully electric vehicles (EVs) is an even better story for Volvo, with the 2,693 sold this November representing a 106-percent increase over the 1,307 sold in November 2020.

Some of that EV increase is due to the start of retail deliveries of the new, all-electric C40 Recharge model, which joins the all-electric XC40 Recharge in the lineup. The new model helped all-electric vehicles make up more than half of Volvo's sales in Europe last month. For reference, Volvo's global EV share in November is about one-third, and it's at almost 20 percent in the United States. Volvo has promised to offer every model in its portfolio with either a hybrid or fully electric powertrain—and those all-electric models would make up at least half of the company's sales volume—by 2025.

In terms of regional sales performance, the U.S. is Volvo's most improved market, where the 111,733 cars sold so far this year represent an increase of 16.5 percent compared to the same time frame in 2020. China has seen 6.1 percent sales growth thus far in 2021, with 157,034 cars sold in the first 11 months there. Europe, however, remains the company's largest market. Volvo has sold 264,910 cars there this year, but that represents only a 4-percent increase over 2020. The XC60 is the company's best-selling model globally, followed by the compact XC40 and the larger XC90.

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