Business / Auto China

Safety and quality will drive Volvo Cars' growth

By Hao Yan ( Updated: 2015-02-12 17:18

Safety and quality will drive Volvo Cars' growth

Hakan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Car Group, gives a speech at a news event in Sanya, Hainan province, Feb 7, 2015. [Photo provided to]

The Dongfeng sailing team won the race for start position in the Volvo Ocean Race during its Sanya stopover on Feb 8.

As the round-the-world competition set sail for the next leg to New Zealand, the heads of Volvo Cars talked about the company's own journey in Nordic luxury.

The biggest challenge in its voyage to China has been conveying Volvo's core values to customers, said Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo Car Group president and CEO. The group is owned by Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding.

Though China is already its biggest market, "Volvo is relatively small compared with very big players in the luxury segment, and we need to be on the customers' shopping list", said Samuelsson.

Lars Danielson, CEO of Volvo Car China, outlined the values that make Volvo a premium car.

"Volvo's quality is based on our build process, global engineering standard and manufacturing system," said Danielson. "Wherever the car is produced, it follows Volvo Cars' global quality.

The assertions are borne out by global market research house JD Power, whose survey of consumers found the China-made Volvo XC60 had highest initial quality among all midsize luxury SUVs in China last year.

Volvo Cars announced last month that the S60 Inscription sedan will become the first domestically assembled luxury car shipped to the United States.

The model was designed and developed in Gothenburg, Sweden and produced by the company's Chengdu plant in Sichuan province.

Export of the China-made Volvo sedan demonstrates the consistent quality of the carmaker's products made around the world, said Samuelsson.

Volvo Car China sold 81,121 vehicles in 2014, a 33 percent rise from 2013, much higher than the 13 percent in the Chinese auto market as a whole.

Sales in the overall premium segment grew 21 percent.

As Volvo's largest market, sales in China contributed 17.4 percent to the carmaker's global volume last year.

The company expects China will contribute about one-fourth of global sales by 2020.

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