Chart Of The Day: Volvo XC90 Sales Are Way Up, Now Double It

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
chart of the day volvo xc90 sales are way up now double it

We’re finally beginning to see the impact a new SUV can have in Volvo showrooms.

The second-generation XC90 posted a 209% year-over-year increase to 1,176 U.S. sales in July 2015. That equalled 796 more sales this July than last and the highest monthly total for the XC90 since December 2010.

So is Volvo back? Well, not quite. Not yet.

Because the auto market is so seasonal, year-over-year change is a valid figure to consider, but it’s less useful when the previous year in the year-over-year comparison was the 13th year in the model’s lifespan. XC90 sales in July 2014, for instance, were 88% lower than in July 2004.

You know what that means. Even as XC90 sales exploded, on a year-over-year basis, in July 2015, the new SUV’s total was still paltry in comparison with the XC90’s glory days of yore.

Can Volvo return to those glory days of selling 3,000 XC90s per month in America? There are a number of factors working against the new XC90, not the least of which is supply. Automotive News says that Volvo had just a six-day supply of XC90s at the beginning of July. At the moment, shows only 600 XC90s in stock at U.S. dealers.

If Volvo can ramp up supply, however, the XC90 is still fighting a much more difficult battle now than it was a decade ago.

First, consider the competition. For example, in 2004, there was no Audi Q7. Now, there’s a second-generation Audi Q7, and even the aged outgoing model was selling more often in 2014 than it had in seven years. Infiniti now grabs 3,100 sales per month with their own three-row crossover, the QX60. Other key rivals have been released in all-new form at least twice since the XC90 was initially released and are marketed with far broader model ranges. The latest BMW X5, for instance, is sold with four different engines, including a diesel.

Yet the bigger factor that could inhibit the new XC90 from selling like the old XC90 is Volvo’s own standing in America. No longer is Volvo the only manufacturer which can wow with safety, and more pertinently, Volvo’s non-XC90 vehicles simply aren’t that popular. In July 2004, Volvo sold 9,180 vehicles which weren’t XC90s, 52% more non-XC90 vehicles than Volvo sold last month.

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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2 of 18 comments
  • Spartan Spartan on Aug 25, 2015

    I helped in that number. I ordered an XC90 T8 that will be built later in the year. I'm willing to be the guinea pig for the somewhat new powertrain. For the money, there's not much else you can buy with the same amount of luxury and efficiency.

  • Sjalabais Sjalabais on Sep 29, 2015

    Was Volvo really the only producer to still "wow" the market with safety in 2004? I figured that stopped maybe a decade earlier, but my memory may fail me.

  • SCE to AUX It's worth considering the recall rate (recalled vehicles vs sales), rather than just recall notices or vehicles affected.The newest calculation for this that I could find was for 1985 - 2016, so not very relevant today.As for the Veloster, sealing printed circuit boards is not new tech, but it must be perfect to be truly effective. My son's 11 Sonata was recalled for a similar problem on the power steering circuit board.
  • MaintenanceCosts When is the actual new stuff coming out? I don't make shaky YouTube videos of myself running from the police, so yet another Hellcat is boring.
  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys hornet is an alfa with $15k on the hood from the factory in italy
  • Tassos This "Eldorado" is a sad caricature of the far more substantial Eldorado and esp "Biarritz"s of the late 50s and 60s.It belongs to the junkyard. I can see no reason why anybody would want to restore this loser.Instead, you can get a FLAGSHIP German Luxury Sedan from the Web auctions, such as this one that was just sold for a tiny fraction of its price new, and which is still eminently driveable with little or no improvements:
  • Cprescott Yet Honduh can't even build a car with safe seatbelts.