By on July 24, 2020

Volvo Cars will be unable to reach its global volume target of 800,000 vehicles this year. Considering everything that has — or hasn’t — happened in 2020, any automaker that ends the period moving more metal than they did in 2019 should probably have a statue erected in front of their headquarters celebrating a major industrial achievement.

Volvo sold 705,452 units the last time our Earth went around the sun, forcing it to face the music when considering goals in what CEO Håkan Samuelsson calls the “corona year.”

The pandemic and its accompanying government lockdowns have proven the perfect excuse for the industry, as it’s impossible to argue that anti-virus measures haven’t negatively impacted sales/production. Volvo, after making fairly consistent headway over the last few years, noted it has already seen a 20-percent decline in volume (and a 14.1-percent loss of revenue) through the first half of 2020. That’s 269,962 cars through the end of June.

At the time of the report’s release, Samuelsson said Volvo expected a strong recovery through the second half of the year — potentially matching 2019. But he stopped short of making the impossible-to-keep promise of making a full recovery. “If the market recovers as we expect, we anticipate sales volumes to return to the levels we saw in the second half of 2019 and it is our ambition return to similar profit levels and cash flow,” he explained.

That was less than a week ago. Now, the messaging is a bit more grounded — though totally understandable. According to Automotive News, the CEO made it crystal clear that the corporate goal of 800,000 deliveries isn’t happening until 2021. “There will probably be a year delay,” Samuelsson told the outlet. “Before the pandemic we were on track to reach that or come very close to that.”

“In the first half we lost 21 percent, which is almost 71,000 cars,” he continued. “Therefore, even if we reach what we are forecasting for the second half, which is a return to the sales volume we saw last year, the year as a whole will be less than in 2019.”

He then tapped into the most irritating phrase to come out of 2020 to explain how the company would turn the situation into something positive while envisioning a novel way of doing business.

“In 2021 our absolute ambition is to resume growing,” Samuelsson said. “But it will be a new normal with a lot more electric cars, more online sales, less traveling, more videoconferencing and more working from home. There will be positive effects that result from the pandemic.”

[Image: Volvo Cars]

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3 Comments on “Maybe Next Year: Volvo Pushes Back Sales Targets to 2021...”

  • avatar

    Setting explicit volume goals:
    – OEM executives are very into it.
    – It offers very little benefit to automotive customers.

    -> Take excellent care of the customers you have, and you will get more.

  • avatar

    “[…] should probably have a statue erected in front of their headquarters celebrating a major industrial achievement.“

    Heaven knows that in this environment, someone would just tear it down.

  • avatar

    It is the end of the world, who is going to buy Volvo? Nah, I prefer NSTV. Hummer please or even better Toyota Hilux equipped with made in China machine gun.

    “have a statue erected in front of their headquarters”
    Don’t make it white Volvo, it will be toppled in a ms.

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