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Tesla who? Volvo Australia's electric car play not affecting popularity as brand targets new sales record

In August, nearly half of all Volvo’s sales were all-electric models like the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric.

Volvo Car Australia is on-track for another record year in 2023, as sales rocket past 8000-units to the end of August and could top 12,000 by the year’s end.

Last month saw Volvo find 1037 new homes for its vehicles, led by the popular XC40 small SUV (592 sales) that was not only the number one seller for the brand, but also, its segment.

The XC40 outsold the just-launched new-generation BMW X1 (537), as well as the Lexus UX (252) and Audi Q3 (232) in August to account for 23.9 per cent of the premium small SUV market.

The XC40 was followed in popularity by the XC60 (174), ageing XC90 (117), all-electric C40 (122), V60 Cross Country (23) and S60 (nine) last month.

Volvo’s year-to-date total of 8005 (+12.3%) puts the premium Swedish brand in front of the likes of Skoda (5261 sales YTD), Land Rover (5315) and Genesis (1251), while also just behind rivals Lexus (9985) and Audi (11,988).

And if Volvo can keep up its 1000-unit per month average for the rest of the year, it would mean a circa-12,000-unit tally for the brand in 2023, which would easily surpass the 10,715 high watermark it achieved in 2022.

Crucially though, the brand’s August sales were nearly split equally between internal combustion and electric powertrains as Australian EV sales surge, while the year-to-date mix sits closer to 37.5 per cent EVs.

The well-priced EX30 (from ,990 before on-road costs) is nearing its early 2024 launch.

It seems then, that the move to an all-electric brand by 2026 is not having an adverse effect on Volvo’s bottom line.

“Globally, Volvo is firmly committed to becoming an electric-only carmaker by 2030, but in Australia we’ve previously announced we will make the transition to full electric vehicles happen by 2026,” said Volvo Car Australia Managing Director Stephen Connor.

“Our continuing strong results in 2023, and the popularity of Volvo’s pure EVs, reinforces that this is the right strategy for the Australian market.”

However, Volvo’s “close to 3000” electric cars still only accounts for about for about 11 per cent of the overall market, with year-to-date sales of EVs hitting 33,410 to the end of August – a massive jump of 548.9 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The EX30 boasts the smallest carbon footprint of any Volvo produced to date.

The EV market is currently led by the Tesla Model 3 (10,877) and Model Y (8717).

Expect to see Volvo EVs continue to climb the sales charts, however, with the well-priced EX30 (from $59,990 before on-road costs) nearing its early 2024 launch.

“We have received over 800 pre-orders for the new EX30, our smallest ever electric SUV, which boasts the smallest carbon footprint of any Volvo produced to date,” said Connor.

“With the EX30 we have experienced record enquiry and order intake measured against all of our recently introduced electric vehicle models.”

Volvo is also preparing its all-electric EX90 large SUV for launch, though it has been hit with a global delay to around mid-2024 to iron out software problems.

Tung Nguyen
News Editor
Having studied journalism at Monash University, Tung started his motoring journalism career more than a decade ago at established publications like Carsales and Wheels magazine. Since then, he has risen through...
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