Sweden’s Volvo gears up to play with the big boys

Sweden's Volvo gears up to play with the big boys
Volvo sold over half a million cars in 2015. Photo: AP
Swedish carmaker Volvo, owned by the Chinese Geely group, said on Friday it had turned the corner towards becoming a major international player as it posted record unit sales.

Volvo said it had sold over half a million cars in 2015 – 503,127 exactly – its highest annual sales figure ever, representing a rise of eight percent over the previous year.

The sales data mark the end of the first stage of Volvo's recovery, begun after it emerged from a loss-making period in 2013.

“Volvo is about to enter the second phase of its global transformation. Once completed, Volvo will have ceased being a minor automotive player and taken its position as a truly global premium car company,” company chief Haakan Samuelsson said in a statement.

“More records will tumble in coming years,” he said.

Volvo has made no secret of its ambition to compete head-on with leading global high-end brands Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar.

Both Audi and Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler reported Friday record sales of over 1.8 million vehicles last year.