Published on May 27th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Volvo’s success under Geely……Proton’s success soon?
Volvo is now a success by any measure under ownership of Geely (who just bought 49.9% of Proton). Global sales last year stood at 534,127, almost exactly 200,000 units more that it sold in 2009. The figures make Volvo’s ambitious statement made back in 2011 to grow sales to 800,000 by 2020 look modest.
The cash is pouring in. In 2016 Volvo’s operating profit rose 66% to 11 billion Swedish crowns (USD1.25 billion) on revenue of $20.2 billion, giving it an operating margin of 6.1%. It has cash reserves of $4.3 billion, up from $2.9 million in 2015.
In the past Volvo mainly sold cars to northern Europeans and a dwindling band of die-hard fans in the North American snow belt. Now China is the automaker’s top market, with 90,930 sales last year, followed by the U.S.
Volvo’s global sales march is being shadowed by its expanding manufacturing footprint. Its new U.S. assembly plant opening next year near Charleston, S.C., which will have annual capacity of 100,000 vehicles and build the S60 plus a second model to be named will join a network of two in Europe and three in China. By 2020, U.S. sales will be nearly double last year’s figure of 82,724 at 150,000, while China should hit 200,000.
This success model can be Proton’s success in the coming years.