STOCKHOLM Feb 8 Geely-owned Volvo Car Group
said on Wednesday it expected sales to hit a fresh record this
year after reporting sharply higher earnings and revenues for
2016 as strong demand for new models developed under Chinese
ownership underpinned growth.
Operating earnings at Volvo, bought by Zhejiang Geely
Holding Group Co. from Ford Motor Co. in 2010, rose to
11.0 billion Swedish crowns ($1.24 billion) for full-year 2016
from 6.6 billion a year earlier.
Backed by its Chinese owner, Volvo has undertaken a vast
investment plan in new models and plants to secure a viable
niche in a premium auto market dominated by larger German rivals
such as Daimler's Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
The company, one of Sweden's biggest companies by sales and
number of employees, has set a goal of reaching sales of 800,000
cars in the medium term, a level seen sufficient to ensure its
place in the market and sustain future investments.
Gothenburg-based Volvo struggled to make its mark under Ford
ownership but sales have steadily increased in recent years on
the back of strong demand for new models and hit a new record of
534,332 cars in 2016.
"The new models are successful, sales are at record levels
and profits are up substantially," Chief Executive Hakan
Samuelsson said in a statement.
"On the back of these achievements, I foresee that 2017 will
also be a record year in terms of sales."
In light of the growing sales, Volvo said separately it was
looking to hire an additional 700 to 800 employees at its
Torslanda plant in Gothenburg, in western Sweden.
Last year Volvo also took a step toward an eventual listing,
raising 5 billion crowns from Swedish institutional investors
through the sale of newly issued preference shares, though it
said it had no immediate plans for an IPO.
($1 = 8.8868 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Niklas Pollard; Editing by Alistair Scrutton)