Sales of the Volvo XC40 will grow to 150,000 units this year, double the number sold in 2018, according to Volvo's European boss, Lex Keemakers.
The massive growth will come from the XC40's first full year of sales , crucially, more production capacity for the compact SUV at Volvo's plant in Ghent, Belgium.
The XC40 is fundamental to Volvo’s aspiration to build its sales to 800,000 units per year. In 2018, it sold 642,253 cars, breaking the 600,000 mark for the first in its history.
“Breaking through 600,000 units has been an ultimate dream for 15 years,” said Keemakers. “We want to be at 800,000, but I’m not going to say when.”
However, the V40 hatchback will be discontinued this year and won’t be replaced for two to three years. It's unlikely that Volvo will meet its 800,000 sales target until that replacement, which is set to be a higher-riding, sportier model, arrives.
Volvo in the UK is striving towards 80,000 sales per year, 10% of the brand's global total. Last year, it sold 50,319 units, and UK managing director Jon Wakefield hopes that will comfortably increase into the 60,000s this year.
“If you go back to 2015, we had exposure to 30 or 40% of the market," he said. "We now have exposure to 58% of the UK market. The XC40 gives us so much opportunity. It will be natural growth.
“Global demand meant we didn’t get too many XC40s registered last year – six or seven thousand. Availability is something that we’re fighting for globally. There’s plenty of room for another 10,000 XC40s here.”