The automotive world is shifting at an incredibly rapid pace. Consider that just five years ago, hybrid vehicles - let alone plug-in hybrid vehicles - were few and far between. Nowadays we are seeing them in quite nearly every market segment, and the demand for these models is only expected to grow as markets around the world begin to incentivize cleaner motoring. Volvo's CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, certainly agrees with this prediction.
Most companies have underestimated the demand for these models, and as a result are pumping up their numbers to try and keep up with the orders that are coming in. Samuelsson expects a 20-25% increase in sales by the end of 2019, as he explained to group of journalists during a round table discussion. Capacity across the board has to be tripled in comparison to last year, driven heavily by markets like China.
Even with the struggle to keep up with demand, Volvo managed to shift 26,800 units of their plug-in hybrid models in Europe alone last year, which is over 50% more than the previous year. For the time being, this range of vehicles comprises of the XC90 and XC60 SUVs, as well as the V90 and V60 wagons and their sedan counterparts. There are more mild-hybrid variants to be introduced before the year is up as well.
By 2021, the prediction is that a quarter of all Volvo car sales will be plug-in hybrid models. This means that not only do factories have to beef up their production rates for vehicles, but the entire supply chain needs to be improved and expanded in order to cope with the ever increasing demand.