Volvo Cars UK MD Nick Connor predicts the firm will sell 2000 XC90 in 2014 – despite this being its TWELFTH year on sale.
The long-running seven-seat luxury SUV will be replaced next year (and we may, said Connor, see its replacement at the Paris Motor Show in October)… but that isn’t deterring thousands of eager British buyers.
“The strengths it brought to the market remain,” Connor told us. “It is innovative, it has full seven-seat capabilities… overall, it has done a fantastic job for us in terms of image and, indeed, it actually created and built the XC brand.
“Some people have now had three or four XC90: our job this year is to convince them to have their fifth.
“We sold 2500 units in 2013 and expect to sell a few thousand in 2014; certainly, we don’t expect selling our supply to be a challenge.”
Connor also revealed that Volvo dealers will again be busy selling V40 and V40 Cross Country this year. “We’ll sell over 12,000 of them in 2014: the V40 is the backbone of our range and we’ll be looking to build momentum with it this year.”
Things are already looking up, he added. “January saw our order take up 50% year on year, and Q4 2014 was strong as well.
“But it’s all profitable business. We could easily do more than we do, but they would be sales that wouldn’t make us any money.
“Volvo sales have to be profitable – for Volvo and, in particular, for our dealer network. It’s particularly important that they make money.”
This is why Connor says, after selling around 32,000 cars in 2013, a volume of 35,000 is the target for 2014.
“We could do 40,000, but it wouldn’t be profitable…”
Longer term, Connor added, a 2% market share is the sustainable target for Volvo (it won a 1.5% share in 2013). “2% is the level we naturally exist at. Again, we could do 4%, but there’s no incentive for us to do this unless it brings a return for all parties involved.”