Why Volvo is not a ‘wannabe’ among global premium players

Europe

Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson says the automaker had a record market share in 2021, signaling that it is “not a wannabe” in the premium sector.

“We now have an overall global market share of a bit more than 1 percent,” Samuelsson told Automotive News Europe during a conversation Friday on the automaker’s 2021 financial results. “Ten years ago, we had 0.6 percent of the total global sales.”

Samuelsson, whose nearly 10-year run as the automaker’s CEO will end next month, guided Volvo to within 6,760 vehicle sales in 2021 of setting a new record for global volume.

It would have been the seventh time Volvo set a record worldwide sales in the last eight years.

“That is really what it’s all about at the end of the day: How strong are you in the car market,” said Samuelsson, who in October 2012 took charge of a brand with an unclear future following its sale to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding from Ford Motor in 2010.

That year Volvo’s revenue was 124.5 billion crowns and its operating margin was 0 percent.

Volvo on Friday said its 2021 revenue of 282 billion crowns ($30.3 billion) and its operating margin of 7.2 percent were both records.

Samuelsson said that while a 1 percent share is still small, he believes reaching this level shows Volvo has established its presence on the global premium market.

“Now Volvo is not just a wannabe,” Samuelsson said. “I think we are part of the serious alternatives for consumers in the premium segment.”

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