Volvo has reported a record six months as it shows strong resilience following the coronavirus pandemic.
The Swedish firm said revenue was up 26.3 per cent in the first half of 2021 compared with the pandemic-hit first half of 2020.
Sales volumes increased by an even more dramatic number, jumping 41 per cent in the same period, boosted by the fact most global dealerships were closed at the height of the pandemic.
To provide better context to its performance, sales were up 12 per cent on the first half of 2019. Volvo sold 775,000 cars in the past 12 months, just shy of the 800,000 target it set itself 10 years ago.
Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars, said: “The company continued to grow strongly despite the industry-wide semiconductor shortage, but more importantly, we demonstrated that we are a leader of the ongoing transformation in the automotive industry.”
Europe was Volvo’s strongest regional market, but China was the country with the biggest sales by some margin, shifting over 95,000 units. The United States was second with almost 64,000 followed by the firm’s home market of Sweden with 30,000.
The United Kingdom followed closely in fourth, selling about 27,000 cars.
Volvo is investing heavily in electrification with most of its vehicles available with a hybrid option as well as new electric cars being introduced. Sales of these models increased 25 per cent globally.
However, despite the positivity, the outlook is not so strong for the second half of the year. Volvo warns that unless the semiconductor crisis is resolved, sales will be flat compared with 2020 despite strong customer demand.
Car manufacturers have been hit hard by a global shortage of semiconductors. These computer chips are found in electronics in every industry, and with car sales nosediving during the pandemic, manufacturers switched supply to booming industries such as video game consoles.
With the automotive industry starting to return to normal, car makers are struggling to source enough chips to build cars, which has led to multiple factory shutdowns globally and an inability to meet demand.