Volvo marketing switch pays dividends as boss boasts marque is on ‘right track’

Volvo is confident sales and profitability will show ‘clear improvement’ in 2015 following last year’s changes to its marketing structure.

Volvo president Håkan Samuelsson says overall sales will hit 500,000 cars, up from 465,866 in 2014, with the rise fuelled by continued growth in China and Europe, and the start of a turnaround in the US market.

The mid-tier car brand also expects an improvement in profitability for the full year, aided by favourable currency movements and the launch of the new XC90 car, which will be a premium model aimed at competing with the likes of BMW and Mercedes Benz.

Volvo announced today that profits rose 17% to $271m for the full-year of 2014, driven by the record car sales of 465,866, which were up 8.9% on 2013. Total sales were also up 6.3% in 2014.

“Volvo’s story in 2015 will continue to be one of growth and sustainable profitability,” said Samuelsson. “We have already received orders for around 17,000 XC90s, around a third of expected volume in 2015.”

The 500,000 target for 2015 is still far off Volvo’s long term goal to reach sales of over 800,000 cars by 2020. Samuelsson, however, insists Volvo is on the right track.

“We have shown in 2014 that we can improve our earnings, despite unfavourable currency developments, while developing world-beating cars, investing in new car programmes and maintain a constant vigilance towards costs,” he added. “These disciplines will remain in place over the coming years.”

Last year, Volvo announced an overhaul to its marketing strategy as it decided to focus on just one international motor show in Europe, the US and Asia to cut millions in costs, and launch its own Volvo event to showcase cars. It had previously attended over 100 motor shows a year.

It also announced plans to up its marketing budget in a bid to become a ‘digital leader’ and has started to sell cars through its website to take advantage of people moving away from dealerships and towards researching car brands online.

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