Saturday, January 28, 2023

Britain’s fastest-growing car brand continues to break records

MG Motor has taken a market share of over 1.5% for the fourth month this year as the brand continues its incredible growth.

The company achieved 2,453 registrations in May 2021, giving it a share of 1.57%. Its total sales in 2021 amounted to 10,760 at month end – a greater number than it sold in the whole of 2018. In addition, more than three in 10 MGs sold (31.7%) were pure electric against an overall market penetration of 7.5% for BEVs across all brands.

Guy Pigounakis, MG’s Commercial Director, said: “So far in 2021, we’ve seen an incredible sales performance from our dealer network, which itself is growing at quite a rate. As we emerge from the stricter part of lockdown, it’s great to see dealerships so busy and a strong appetite for our models from the British car-buying public.

“The EV volumes in particular are fantastic. We are committed to making EVs affordable for everyone and MG is clearly firing the public’s imagination with its combination of great quality, high tech, incredible value and our 7 Year Warranty.”

MG currently offers three plug-in models in the UK – the established MG ZS EV, the game-changing All New MG5 EV and MG HS Plug-in, all backed up by MG’s incredible 7 year Warranty and fast-developing dealer network.

To find your local dealer, or to discover the high-tech, value-for-money range of cars on offer, please visit MG.CO.UK.

Kia UK achieves another record-breaking month

Kia UK Limited has recorded its best ever May sales during the first complete month of fully re-opened showrooms across the UK. 8,207 new Kias were registered last month, according to new data revealed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) today.

The company’s previous best was 7,279 sales, making this May a record-breaking month by some margin. Kia UK’s market-share year to date has reached an all-time high of five per cent, a clear display of its continued business success. In May Kia also saw an unprecedented market share of 5.2 per cent.

As the Korean brand’s evolution continues towards electrified mobility, it’s fully electric sales also achieved nearly 10 per cent (9.7) share of the EV market year to date.

The Kia e-Niro retained its place as the second best-selling BEV in the UK so far this year, with 919 sales in May. More than doubling its previous monthly sales, Soul EV also made an important contribution.

This May marks the fifth month in a row in which Kia has broken previous records for sales of its eco range. As a result, Kia now holds an astounding 7.3 per cent share of the eco market, comprising of Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and Fully Electric vehicles.

The Sportage remained ever successful, confirming Kia as the leading provider of C-SUV vehicles during May, with an eight per cent share of the segment. With sales of 2,956 units, Sportage was the sixth best-selling car in the UK this month. Meanwhile, 989 registrations of the Kia Picanto earned the A-segment model a 15.7 per cent share of its class.

The Kia Ceed model family and the all-new Sorento also continued to impress buyers throughout the month, proving to be strong contenders in their individual segments.

Paul Philpott, President & CEO of Kia UK Limited, commented: “May has been the first full month of re-opened showrooms across the UK, and our sales clearly reflect a level of pent up demand which thankfully we as a company were able to fulfil. The Niro family continues to impress customers, particularly the fully electric e-Niro, which is holding its own in an increasingly competitive segment. Equally, the Sportage continues to prove very popular and demand for the new Sorento has surpassed even my most ambitious expectations.

“To achieve a record market-share of 5.2 per cent in May, and more impressively five per cent year to date is a fantastic achievement that we are all very proud of. Our performance this year continues to reflect the hard work and devotion of our dealer partners, and their constant ability to go above and beyond for our customers.”

Volvo Cars Torslanda becomes company’s first climate-neutral car plant

Volvo Cars Torslanda becomes company’s first climate neutral car plant

Volvo Cars today made a significant step towards its ambition of making its global manufacturing network climate neutral by 2025, announcing that its Torslanda site in Sweden is its first car manufacturing plant to reach fully climate-neutral status.

Volvo Cars Torslanda becomes company’s first climate neutral car plant

This makes Torslanda the second plant in its overall manufacturing network to reach this status, after the Skövde engine plant in Sweden became climate neutral in 2018.

Volvo Cars counts a manufacturing site as fully climate neutral when it registers no net increase in the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere as a result of the electricity and heating used by the plant.

The Torslanda plant, the company’s oldest, has been powered by climate-neutral electricity since 2008. It now also has climate-neutral heating. Half of the plant’s heating comes from biogas, while the other half is predominantly sourced from district heating through industrial waste heat.

“Establishing Torslanda as our first climate-neutral car plant is a significant milestone,” said Javier Varela, Head of Industrial Operations and Quality at Volvo Cars. “We are committed to having a climate-neutral manufacturing network by 2025, and this achievement is a sign of our determination as we consistently work to reduce our impact on the environment.”

Apart from becoming climate neutral, Torslanda also constantly reduces the amount of energy it uses. Targeted improvements in its operations during 2020 resulted in annualised energy savings of almost 7,000 megawatt-hour (MWh), equal to the annual energy usage of more than 450 Swedish family homes.

In the coming years, Volvo Cars plans to make further efficiency upgrades to the plant’s lighting and heating systems, among other things, which should result in additional annual energy savings of around 20,000 MWh by 2023. These energy savings are part of a wider ambition for Volvo Cars to reduce energy usage per car produced in its manufacturing network by 30 per cent in 2025.

For Volvo Cars to achieve its target of climate-neutral manufacturing operations, it needs the full support of local partners in government and business to access climate-neutral electricity and heating. In addition, Volvo Cars will develop its own renewable electricity generation capacity on-site.

Volvo Cars’ climate-neutral manufacturing target is part of the company’s climate plan, one of the most ambitious in the automotive industry. The centrepiece of the plan is Volvo Cars’ ambition to electrify its entire line-up.

Yet the plan goes beyond addressing tailpipe emissions through all-out electrification and also seeks to tackle carbon emissions in the company’s wider operations, its supply chain and through recycling and reuse of materials by embracing the circular economy.

SEAT introduces autonomous mobile robots in its Barcelona factory

SEAT has introduced new autonomous robots to work collaboratively with its staff at the Martorell factory.

The autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) – also known as EffiBOTs – work autonomously yet collaboratively with the workforce at SEAT’s manufacturing hub, adapting to their needs to make their jobs easier.

Significantly reducing the amount of walking required to perform their jobs, the robotic workforce helps with tasks such as transporting components around the huge 2.8 million square meter facility.

SEAT continues to work on the development and application of digital tools and solutions to ensure the factory becomes a smarter, more digitised and connected facility, with the first two EffiBOT autonomous, collaborative mobile robots a major stepping stone for the brand’s future.

By introducing the robots, the brand will adapt its production processes, and manage resources and communication between the different areas of the facility more efficiently.

Vice-President for Production and Logistics for SEAT, Herbert Steiner stated“Autonomous mobile robots place us at the forefront of innovation in the automotive sector. They’re also a clear example of how robots can collaborate with employees to make their work easier. Their incorporation contributes to driving Industry 4.0 and making us more efficient, flexible, agile and competitive.”

EffiBOT: the intelligent robot
The EffiBOT is a robot developed by French company Effidence, with which SEAT has collaborated to adapt its operations at the Martorell plant. Processing constant 360-degree readings, the robot can follow the person who tapped its touchscreen as they move around the factory and are able to navigate around people or objects in their way.

Among other tasks, the EffiBOT removes the burden of carrying heavy loads from workers, as it can transport all kinds of materials needed for car assembly, carrying up to 250 kilos and pulling as much as 500 kilos.

The company has introduced two EffiBOTs in an experimental phase and could expand the number of these robots in the future. Unlike automated guided vehicles (AGVs), which require a track to function properly, autonomous mobile robots (AMR) such as EffiBOT can recognise their surroundings to map their route to a defined destination and avoid obstacles along the way.

A benchmark for Industry 4.0
In addition to the EffiBOTs, and as an example of the transformation to turn Martorell into a smart factory, the plant currently has around 20 collaborative robots in the assembly areas, including the “cobots” that are responsible for applying the lettering to the Ibiza and Arona models.

In recent years, SEAT has implemented technological innovations throughout its entire production cycle, such as EffiBOTs, collaborative robots, AGVs in indoor and outdoor areas and drones for logistics transport. These steps, combined with more efficient data management – thanks to the use of artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain – enable more efficient, flexible and agile processes.

MG sees record sales growth as dealerships reopen

MG has seen its sales increase by 50.8% so far in 2021, with 8,307 cars registered so far in 2021 making it the fastest-growing of the UK’s top 30 car manufacturers.

Its April sales volume of 2,146 cars saw the brand take a market share of 1.52%, the third time this year that it has passed 1.5% share putting it ahead of a number of mainstream rivals.

Of particular note, MG saw unprecedented demand for its EV and Plug-in models, which accounted for over a third of sales in April.

MG’s Commercial Director, Guy Pigounakis, said: “MG’s continued growth through 2021 is the perfect testimony to our rapidly developing dealer network, which has once again outperformed the market against challenging circumstances.

“We’re absolutely delighted with our performance so far in 2021 and in particular with the demand for our electric and plug-in models, which have shown incredible popularity thanks to their great value for money and impressive range. Exciting things are happening at MG and more and more customers are realising that.”

MG currently offers three plug-in models in the UK – the established MG ZS EV, the game-changing All New MG5 EV and MG HS Plug-in Hybrid, all backed up by MG’s incredible 7 year warranty and fast-developing dealer network.

To find your local dealer, or to discover the high-tech, value-for-money range of cars on offer, please visit MG.CO.UK.

Strong first quarter for Volkswagen Group

The positive business development of the Volkswagen Group in the second half of 2020 continued in the first quarter of this year. This resulted in strong financial performance with significant improvements over the weaker prior-year period that was impacted by the pandemic. Some key figures even came in above pre-crisis levels from the first quarter of 2019. Successful management of the Covid-19 pandemic and semiconductor shortages, along with recovery in the markets, were key to this positive development. As a result, sales revenue increased by 13.3 percent to a high level of EUR 62.4 billion. Operating profit soared compared to the prior-year level to 4.8 (0.9) billion. The higher earnings were mainly due to increased unit sales, improvements in the product mix, positive effects from the valuation of raw material hedges and initial success from the fixed cost reduction program. One-off restructuring expenses of EUR 0.4 billion had a negative impact. The Automotive Division underscored the robustness of its business model with a high adjusted net cash flow of EUR 5.5 (–1.5) billion. The Division’s net liquidity rose to a very solid level of EUR 29.6 billion. The Volkswagen Group raised the outlook for its operating margin for full year 2021 to 5.5 to 7.0 percent. It was previously 5.0 to 6.5 percent.

Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group: “We started the year with great momentum and are on a strong operational course. This is clearly reflected in our positive quarterly figures. At the same time, we remain fully committed to our transformation into a climate-neutral and software-driven mobility group. Our successful e-offensive continues to gain momentum and we have significantly expanded it with attractive new models. We are also making good progress with the key topic of digitalisation and have reached important milestones. There is still much more we can achieve in the remainder of the year.”

Arno Antlitz, CFO of the Volkswagen Group: “The Volkswagen Group delivered a strong perfor- mance in the first quarter. The operating return on sales stood at 7.7 percent. The adjusted net cash flow of EUR 5.5 billion impressively proves the robustness of our company even in challeng-ing conditions. We managed the effects of Covid-19 and the semiconductor shortages responsi-bly, continued to invest in the electrification and digitalisation of our vehicles, and simultaneously worked on our cost base. The shortage of semiconductors throughout the industry is expected to have a more significant impact in the second quarter than before.
Nevertheless, we are confident regarding business development in the full year and have therefore raised our outlook.”

Strong operating business
In the first quarter, deliveries from the Volkswagen Group increased significantly by 21.2 percent to 2.4 million vehicles over the same period last year, which was already impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Global market share of passenger cars grew by 0.2 percentage points to 12.4 percent in the same period. A key driver of this increase in volume was China, the Group’s largest single market. This market showed the strongest recovery over the prior year at +61.4 percent.

The Group’s successful e-offensive continued to gain momentum and likewise contributed to this positive development. In the first three months, deliveries of electrified models more than doubled over the prior year to 133,300 vehicles. 59,900 customers (+78 percent) opted for a battery electric vehicle (BEV), while 73,400 (+178 percent) chose a model with plug-in hybrid drive (PHEV).

Due to increased sales volumes and stronger demand for higher-margin models, Group sales revenue rose significantly by 13.3 percent to a strong EUR 62.4 (55.1) billion, also exceeding the pre-crisis level of 2019 (EUR 60.0 billion). Operating profit in the prior-year quarter was only EUR 0.9 billion due to the pandemic and soared to EUR 4.8 billion in the current year. The operating return on sales was therefore a strong 7.7 percent. The increase in earnings over the prior year is mainly due to higher sales volumes, improvements in the product mix and positive effects from the valuation of raw material hedges. Progress in the ongoing cost reduction programs also had a positive effect. One-off restructuring expenses of EUR 0.4 billion had a negative impact.

Earnings before and after taxes also climbed significantly to EUR 4.5 (0.7) billion and EUR 3.4 (0.5) billion, respectively. Earnings per preferred share thus reached a solid level of EUR 6.51 (0.84).

Automotive Division: Excellent cash performance, net liquidity improved once again Systematic inventory management and successful measures to lower costs and safeguard liquidity had a positive impact on financial performance. Net cash flow in the Automotive Division reached a high level of EUR 4.7 (–2.5) billion, more than double that of the first quarter in pre-crisis year 2019 (EUR 2.0 billion). Adjusted for mergers and acquisitions and diesel, net cash flow amounted to a strong EUR 5.5 (–1.5) billion. Net liquidity in the Automotive Division also showed positive growth and climbed to a very solid level of EUR 29.6 billion. It amounted to EUR 26.8 billion at the end of 2020.

Research and development costs increased to EUR 4.0 (3.6) billion due to necessary future- oriented investments in new models and technologies. The R&D ratio was 8.0 percent in the prior- year period due to pandemic-related lower sales revenue and fell to 7.7 percent in the current year. Improved investment discipline and greater use of Group synergies led to significant progress with capital expenditures. These decreased by 7.8 percent over the prior-year period to EUR 1.9 (2.1) billion. As a result, the capex ratio fell significantly to 3.7 (4.7) percent, putting it below the level of the pre-crisis quarter in 2019 (4.0 percent).

Outlook 2021
Based on the positive business performance in the first quarter of 2021, the Volkswagen Group is raising its forecast for operating profit, net cash flow and net liquidity.

The Group anticipates that – assuming successful containment of the Covid-19 pandemic – deliveries to customers in 2021 will be significantly up on the previous year amid continued challenging market conditions. Challenges will arise particularly from the economic situation, the increasing intensity of competition, volatile commodity and foreign exchange markets, securing supply chains and more stringent emissions-related requirements. Sales revenue of the Volkswagen Group in 2021 are expected to be significantly higher than the prior-year figure. In terms of the operating profit, the Group anticipates an operating return on sales of between 5.5 and 7.0 percent in 2021.

In the Automotive Division, net cash flow is expected to rise strongly over the prior year with lower cash outflows from diesel and significantly higher effects from mergers and acquisitions, which will lead to a significant rise in net liquidity. The plans are based on the Volkswagen Group’s current structures. The intended acquisition of all outstanding shares in Navistar International Corporation and associated effects on the results of operations, financial position and net assets are not included in the Volkswagen Group forecast.


    2021   2020   %
Volume Datain thousands          
Deliveries to customers (units)   2,432   2,006   + 21.2
Vehicle sales (units)   2,334   1,937   + 20.5
Production (units)   2,319   1,997   + 16.1
Employees (on March 31, 2021/Dec. 31, 2020)   662.7   662.6   + 0.0
Financial Data (IFRSs), € million          
Sales revenue   62,376   55,054   + 13.3
Operating result   4,812   904   x
Operating return on sales (%)   7.7   1.6  
Earnings before tax   4,463   682   x
Return on sales before tax (%)   7.2   1.2  
Earnings after tax   3,414   517   x
Automotive Division2          
Total research and development costs   3,962   3,563   + 11.2
R&D ratio (%)   7.7   8.0    
Cash flows from operating activities   8,890   1,546   x
Cash flows from investing activities attributable to operating activities3   4,186   4,064   + 3.0
of which: capex   1,924   2,087   –7.8
capex/sales revenue (%)   3.7   4.7    
Net cash flow   4,705   –2,518   x
Net liquidity at March 31   29,650 17,787   + 66.7
  1. Volume data including the unconsolidated Chinese joint These companies are accounted for using the equity method. Prior-year deliveries have been updated to reflect subsequent statistical trends.
  2. Including allocation of consolidation adjustments between the Automotive and Financial Services
  3. Excluding acquisition and disposal of equity investments: Q1 €3,806 (3,553) million.

ŠKODA AUTO significantly increases deliveries and earnings in the first quarter


ŠKODA AUTO increased its global deliveries to customers by 7.2% to 249,600 vehicles from January to March 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. Sales revenue totalled 5.049 billion euros, an increase of 4.1% compared to the same period last year. The ŠKODA AUTO Group*’s operating profit was 46.1% higher than the previous year at 448 million euros, while the return on sales rose to a high level of 8.9%. The company continues its positive development from the second half of 2020.


ŠKODA AUTO CEO Thomas Schäfer explains: “We have made a strong start to the year and can look back on an excellent first quarter – despite fierce headwinds from the pandemic and the semiconductor shortage. I would like to thank the entire ŠKODA team, our social partner KOVO, as well as our importers and dealers for their outstanding commitment. We are also optimistic for the coming months; the first units of our all-electric SUV Enyaq iV have been delivered and demand is exceeding our expectations. We also have some fantastic new products in the pipeline, including the new FABIA generation. Our recently launched NEXT LEVEL EFFICIENCY programme not only counteracts the negative effects of the pandemic and supply bottlenecks but also puts ŠKODA in a stronger competitive position in the long term.”

Klaus-Dieter Schürmann, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Finance and IT emphasises: “The very positive results of the first quarter show that we are financially on track. Our measures for reducing costs are proving effective. We have successfully mitigated the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and especially the shortages of semiconductors while significantly increasing operating profit and net cash flow. The current result illustrates that ŠKODA AUTO is solidly positioned and sustainably profitable.”

Martin Jahn, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Sales and Marketing, adds: “We have increased our deliveries by 7.2% compared to the same period last year – a great success given the challenging conditions. The strong start to the year attests that our modern and attractive model range is very well received by our customers. And I am convinced that we will also attract many new customers to our brand with numerous new products throughout the year: In early May, we presented the fourth generation of the Fabia in the entry-level segment, followed by product updates of our best-selling SUVs Kodiaq and Karoq. In India, we are launching our first compact SUV, the Kushaq, and in China, we are rolling out the recently launched Octavia PRO.”

ŠKODA AUTO continued its recent positive development in the first quarter of 2021. From January to March 2021, sales revenue increased 4.1% year-on-year to 5.049 billion euros, with operating profit rising to 448 million euros. The return on sales is at a high level of 8.9%. This is significantly higher than the figures for the same period last year, which were negatively impacted by the pandemic-related production shutdown and the slump in sales.

ŠKODA AUTO Group* – Quarterly comparison of key figures, January to March 2021/2020**:

2021 2020 Change in %
Deliveries to customers cars 249,600  232,900 7.2%
Deliveries to customers exl. China cars 223,300 203,900 9.5%
Production*** cars 239,700 223,400 7.3%
Sales**** cars 234,400 237,000 -1.1%
Sales revenue million EUR 5,049 4,850 4.1%
Operating profit million EUR 448 307 46.1%
Return on sales % 8.9 6.3
Investments in tangible assets million EUR 86 132 -35.0%
Net cash flow million EUR 563 245 129.6%

* ŠKODA AUTO Group comprises ŠKODA AUTO a.s, ŠKODA AUTO Slovensko s.r.o., ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland GmbH, SKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Ltd. and a share in the company OOO VOLKSWAGEN Group RUS.
** Percentage deviations are calculated from non-rounded figures.
*** Comprises production in the ŠKODA AUTO Group, excluding production at partner assembly plants in China, Slovakia, Russia and Germany, but including other Group brands such as SEAT, VW and AUDI; vehicle production excluding part/complete kits.
**** Comprises ŠKODA AUTO Group sales to distribution companies, including other Group brands such as SEAT, VW, AUDI, PORSCHE and LAMBORGHINI; vehicle sales excluding part/complete kits.

From January to March, ŠKODA AUTO delivered 249,600 vehicles to customers worldwide (first quarter of 2020: 232,900 vehicles; +7.2%).

In Western Europe, the Czech car manufacturer recorded 111,600 deliveries in the first quarter, an increase of 4.6% (January to March 2020: 106,700 vehicles). ŠKODA also increased deliveries in Germany, its second-largest single market, by 2.3% year-on-year to 36,600 vehicles (January to March 2020: 35,800 vehicles). ŠKODA achieved double-digit growth in Italy (8,600 vehicles; +39.2%), France (8,600 vehicles; +44.3%), Spain (6,300 vehicles; 32.8%) and Belgium (5,500 vehicles; +10.6%).

In Central Europe, ŠKODA delivered 46,900 vehicles in the first quarter of the year, confirming the success of the same period last year (January to March 2020: 46,900 vehicles; -0.1%). In its domestic market, the Czech Republic, deliveries to customers fell 8.0% to 19,600 vehicles in the same period (January to March 2020: 21,300 vehicles).

In Eastern Europe excluding Russia, ŠKODA delivered 10,200 vehicles from January to March, a year-on-year increase of 17.1% (January to March 2020: 8,700 vehicles).

In Russia, ŠKODA recorded 22,800 deliveries to customers in the first quarter, corresponding to an 8.6% increase over the same period last year (January to March 2020: 21,000 vehicles).

In China, the manufacturer’s largest single market worldwide, deliveries to customers dropped 9.3% to 26,300 vehicles in the first quarter (January to March 2020: 29,000 vehicles).

In India, deliveries to customers rose to 3,200 vehicles from January to March, up 4.1% year-on-year (January to March 2020: 3,100 vehicles).

In Turkey, ŠKODA recorded the strongest increase in vehicle deliveries to customers worldwide in the first quarter of 2021. With 9,800 units, the car manufacturer grew 162.1% over last year in this region (January to March 2020: 3,800 vehicles).

ŠKODA brand deliveries to customers in the first quarter of 2021 (in units, rounded off, listed by model; +/- in per cent compared to the first quarter of 2020):

ŠKODA OCTAVIA (63,600; +2.0%)
ŠKODA KAROQ (36,600; +21.1%)
ŠKODA KAMIQ (34,700; +36.1%)
ŠKODA KODIAQ (33,300; -1.0%)
ŠKODA FABIA (25,800; -5.5%)
ŠKODA SUPERB (21,900; +1.1%)
ŠKODA RAPID (18,600; +31.0%)
ŠKODA SCALA (12,500; -13.7%)
ŠKODA CITIGOe iV (only sold in Europe: 1,900; -40.2%)
ŠKODA ENYAQ (500; -)

Record April registrations and market share for Kia UK

Kia Sportage

Kia UK Limited has recorded its best-ever April sales, following the re-opening of most of the brand’s UK dealer showrooms. According to new data revealed today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 7,529 Kia vehicles were registered in the UK last month.

Kia Sportage

This is higher than the company’s previous April record (7,472 units in 2019). Year-to-date registrations of 27,894 take Kia’s UK market share to 4.92 per cent in the first four months of 2021 – also a new all-time high for the brand.

The Sportage retained its place as the brand’s most popular model in the UK, and is ranked seventh in the list of UK top 10 bestsellers, year-to-date, with 2,570 units registered in April and 10,407 units so far this year. It was followed by Kia’s electrified Niro model family (1,757 units in April), with the fully electric e-Niro remaining the UK’s second bestselling electric vehicle, year-to-date (690 units in April, 3,959 in 2021).

The Picanto (1,086 units), Ceed model family (971 units), and Sorento (228 units) also proved popular with UK buyers in April.

Paul Philpott, President & CEO of Kia UK Limited, commented: “Most of our UK showrooms re-opened from April 12 for new and used car sales, and faced an unprecedented level of pent-up demand from customers. As demand bounces back, we’re seeing growing interest across many of our model lines, particularly the Sportage, Niro, Picanto, and all-new Sorento.

“With showroom doors now open, our dealer network can offer buyers a range of different ways in which to research and purchase a new or used Kia. Face-to-face appointments and test drives are now available and proving popular, alongside ‘click and collect’ services. The priority for our dealers is to give Kia customers the best and safest experience as the industry gets back on track after more than a year of disruption.”

Volvo Cars’ global sales up by 97.5 per cent in April

Volvo XC60
XC60 Model Year 2022

Volvo Cars achieved its 10th consecutive month of sales growth, as the company’s global sales increased by 97.5 per cent in April compared with the same month last year.

Volvo XC60
XC60 Model Year 2022

In April, Volvo Cars sold a total of 62,724 cars, up from 31,760 cars in the same period last year. The growth was mainly driven by strong demand in the US and Europe, in combination with a recovery from a sales drop in April last year related to the Covid-19 pandemic. In China, where sales returned to growth around this time last year, the company reported a steady increase of 11.6 per cent.

Sales in the January-April period landed at 248,422 cars, up 51.8 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Sales of Volvo Cars’ Recharge line-up of chargeable models, with a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain, remained strong in Europe during the month of April, representing 42.0 per cent of the company’s overall sales in Europe. Globally, Recharge cars accounted for 24.3 per cent of the total sales volume.

In the US, sales increased by 185.5 per cent in April compared with the same month last year, mainly driven by strong demand for the XC90 and XC60. Total sales reached 11,036 cars, an increase from 3,866 in the same period in 2020, when many states implemented stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic.

European sales grew to 25,816 cars for the month of April, up 178.0 per cent compared with the same period last year. The increase was mainly driven by markets that have started to recover after last year’s pandemic-related shutdowns, as well as strong sales increases in the UK, Sweden and Germany.

China, Volvo Cars’ biggest market, reported solid sales growth in April, with total sales reaching 16,435 cars. The increase was led by high demand for the locally assembled XC60 and S90 models.

A detailed break-up of regional sales is given below:

April January- April
2020 2021 Change 2020 2021 Change
Europe 9,285 25,816 178.0% 79,878 113,366 41.9%
China 14,724 16,435 11.6% 35,504 61,677 73.7%
US 3,866 11,036 185.5% 23,351 38,275 63.9%
Other 3,885 9,437 142.9% 24,916 35,104 40.9%
Total 31,760 62,724 97.5% 163,649 248,422 51.8%


In April, the XC40 was the top-selling model, with sales of 19,833 cars (2020: 5,708), followed by the XC60 with total sales of 17,925 cars (10,908 units) and the XC90 with 9,371 cars (4,425 units).

Kia announces 2021 first-quarter business results

Kia Corporation has announced its 2021 first-quarter business results, reporting a 13.8 per cent year-on-year rise in quarterly revenue to KRW 16.58 trillion. Despite unfavorable exchange rates, the company’s improved product mix and strong performance of key models such as Telluride and Seltos SUVs contributed to higher revenue.

During the January to March period, Kia sold 689,990 units across global markets, a 6.4 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. Sales in Korea rose 11.4 per cent to 130,075 units, with robust sales of the company’s new models, including the new Sorento SUV, and Carnival minivan, behind the increase.

Sales outside of Korea also saw a 5.3 per cent increase to 559,915 units, with recoveries of demand in global markets, alongside significant growth in India. The Sonet SUV alone sold over 25,000 units in India during the first three months, contributing to a 38.3 per cent year-on-year increase of Indian sales.

The company’s first-quarter operating profit more than doubled from a year earlier to KRW 1.08 trillion, with an operating profit margin of 6.5 per cent. The company’s net profit also soared to KRW 1.04 trillion, up 289.2 per cent during the same period.

The strong performance was supported by Kia’s enhanced global product mix as well as the ongoing success of the brand’s high-margin RV models, including Telluride, Seltos, and Sorento SUVs and the Carnival minivan. Sales of Kia’s RV models accounted for 59.7 per cent of the total sales volume, the highest ever RV share and a 6.4 percentage points increase from the same period last year.

2021 Outlook
For 2021, Kia is targeting global sales of 2.92 million units, a 12.1 per cent increase compared to 2020 global sales volumes. The company is targeting domestic sales of 535,000 units and 2.39 million units for sales outside of Korea.

Kia anticipates automobile demand to improve alongside the ongoing economic recovery from the global pandemic. However, possibilities of lingering impacts of COVID-19 and the supply issues of semiconductor parts are likely to leave growing uncertainties in the industry. Accordingly, the company is taking pre-emptive measures to minimise business risks.

In terms of chip supply issues, the company will flexibly adjust its production plans in line with supply status and preemptively secure its component inventory while looking out for alternative semiconductor parts to minimise impact on its output.

Despite tough market situations, Kia will also continue to focus on implementing its mid- to long-term business strategy ‘Plan S’, as well as improving sales momentum and profitability through new models, including the brand new K8 sedan and the company’s first dedicated electric vehicle, EV6.

(Revenue / Operating Profit / Net Profit unit: Billion KRW)

  2021 Q1 2020 Q1 Y/y Change
Vehicle sales (Units) 689,990 648,685 6.4 per cent
  Korea 130,075 116,739 11.4 per cent
  Rest of the world 559,915 531,946 5.3 per cent
Revenue 16,581.7 14,566.9 13.8 per cent
Operating profit 1,076.4 444.5 142.2 per cent
Net profit 1,035.0 266.0 289.2 per cent

* Net Profit includes non-controlling interest

* Under K-IFRS

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