Volvo Car South Africa has closed their first quarter on a high, bucking the trend that has seen the sales of all other premium car companies plummet.

In the first three months of 2020, Volvo grew sales by 16%. All other premium manufacturers registered declines, which varied from -2 to -38%. The total passenger car market declined by 6% during this period while the premium segment declined by 18%.

While its sales grew in the first quarter, Volvo has also grown its share of the segment. “In March, we achieved an 11.9% share of the segment and, for quarter one, it was 10.7%. This compares to 7.7% in 2019,” reveals Greg Maruszewski, managing director of Volvo Car South Africa.

The two-star performers in the Volvo range within South Africa are the XC40 and the XC60, which account for a whopping 80% of total sales. “Volvo’s first-ever compact sports utility vehicle (SUV), the XC40 perfectly showcases the bold new direction Volvo is taking and brings class-leading connectivity, semi-autonomous drive technology and innovative storage solutions to the premium compact SUV segment.

“The XC60, on the other hand, impresses with its design, cabin comfort, practicality, infotainment, drivetrain, ride and handling, safety features, reliability and build quality. Both of these vehicles have won many awards the world over – and South African motorists appear to agree that they are exceptional vehicles,” says Maruszewski.

The S90 and XC90 also contributed to Volvo’s sales successes. “Customers really like the S90’s magnificent exterior, clean yet functional Scandinavian interior, exemplary safety features and economical yet powerful powertrain. The XC90, on the other hand, is finding favour thanks to its stylish exterior, spacious yet luxurious interior, smart connectivity features and range of engines (which includes the T8 Twin Engine model, which is capable of zero-emissions travel),” Maruszewski notes.

Like most other companies in South Africa, Volvo Car South Africa moved all the staff to work from home (the company opted to self-isolate employees two weeks in advance of the lockdown). This didn’t stop the team from toasting the company’s success in the first quarter of 2020; the team held a virtual celebration on Zoom.