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Volvo revival gets boost from China

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-12-05 10:53

HANGZHOU — On Nov 28, Yuan Xiaolin personally handed over the keys to the 100,000th Volvo vehicle owner in the Chinese market in 2017, marking a new annual sales record.

Yuan, senior vice president of Volvo Car Group, said an annual sale of 100,000 vehicles in China will be a normal thing for the company in the future.

In the past three years, Volvo's global sales have seen significant growth, especially in China, which has become its biggest market. In 2015, Volvo sold 81,588 vehicles in the country. A year later, sales jumped to 90,930.

Back in 2010, only 22,000 Volvo cars were sold in China that year. The good performance in the Chinese market has become a strong impetus for reviving Volvo brand glory.

The success is traced to technology and market cooperation between the group and Geely, the company which acquired Volvo in 2010. The powerful supporting ability of Chinese manufacturing industry and the comparatively cheap labor in China also contribute to Volvo's success.

The acquisition has benefited both Volvo and Geely.

For Volvo, China has become a key link in Volvo's manufacturing strategy.

From 2015, Volvo's S60 Inscription models, manufactured in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province, started to be exported to the United States. This year, Volvo's S90 models, produced in Daqing, in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, have been transported to Belgium via trains connecting China and Europe.

Volvo Car Group CEO Hakan Samuelsson said that China will play an increasingly important role in the group's global manufacturing strategy.

While Volvo continues to make breakthroughs, Geely has also gone through a transformation. Seven years after the acquisition, it has gained more reputation and stepped up efforts to expand globally.

On the same day that Yuan handed over the keys, the jointly developed LYNK 01 hit the market in Zhejiang province. The car's manufacturer, Lynk & Co, uses Volvo engines and scalable platform architecture, while employing Geely's compact modular architecture and transmission.

In June, Geely signed an agreement to acquire a 49.9 percent stake in Malaysian automaker Proton. In November, Geely's Belarus factory was completed. Sedans made in the factory will be sold in Belarus, as well as in other Eurasian Economic Union member countries.

Geely plans to make more breakthroughs, cooperate with others and become a leader in the global auto industry, according to Li Shufu, Geely chairman.

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