Volvo Cars reports record 2017 operating profit of $1.7 billion

Volvo Cars reports record 2017 operating profit of $1.7 billion

Volvo Cars has reported a strong 27.7% increase in operating profit in 2017, earning a record SEK14.1 billion ($1.7 billion) compared to SEK11.0 billion in 2016, driven by global sales of 571,577 cars.

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Net revenue for the period increased 16.6% to SEK210.9 billion compared to SEK180.9 billion in 2016, while the operating profit margin improved from 6.1% in 2016 to 6.7% in 2017.

The results underline the comprehensive transformation of Volvo's finances and operations in recent years, positioning the company for its next growth phase.

Global sales rose 7.0% during the year, underpinned by a 25.8% increase in China, Volvo Cars' largest individual market.

"Our business has transformed completely since 2010 and we are now gearing up for a phase of global, sustainable growth," said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. "We are investing in all parts of our organisation and have laid out clear strategies around electrification, autonomous drive and connectivity."

2017 was an important year for Volvo Cars, as the company launched new models, developed partnerships in important areas and unveiled a global electrification strategy unmatched by any other car maker.

It completed its global line-up of brand new SUVs throughout the year, with the launch of the new XC60 and the company's first ever small SUV, the XC40. The XC40 launch also coincided with the introduction of a new model of car access via the company's brand new 'Care by Volvo' premium subscription service.

In July, Volvo Cars announced that it would place electrification at the core of its future business, stating that every car it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor. In a further commitment to electrification it launched Polestar, a new stand-alone electrified car brand fully consolidated within the Volvo Car Group.

Volvo Cars enhanced its collaboration with Geely Holding via the creation of a joint venture technology company to provide further economies of scale in technology development. It also acquired a 30% stake in Geely's new LYNK & CO car brand, with which it shares the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA).

In 2017, Volvo Cars signed a framework agreement with ride-hailing company Uber to sell it tens of thousands of autonomous driving compatible base cars between 2019 and 2021.

Volvo announced in 2017 it will open its new manufacturing plant in South Carolina, its first in the United States, which will build the upcoming new S60 mid-sized sedan as well as the next generation XC90 large SUV. The plant represents an investment of over $1.1 billion and will create nearly 4,000 new jobs.

Sun setting on UK exports to India as home manufacturing booms

Sun setting on UK exports to India as home manufacturing booms

Figures from the UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have shown a growing divide between the number of finished vehicles the UK imports from India and the number it exports to the country.

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According to the SMMT, finished vehicle imports from India into the UK grew by 8.3% in 2017 to 34,149 units. UK vehicle exports to India, however, fell 66% to just 1,144 units, leaving India down from eighth to 12th place in Asia in terms of importing cars from the UK.

SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said the decrease in UK exports to India was a reflection of more local assembly there. "It reflects more investments being made in India and capacity expansion in the country," he said. "Most companies prefer to build close to where they sell."

Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) proved the most popular UK brand in India in 2017, with the Range Rover Sport, Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover Velar and Range Rover among the best sellers. The Mini One was the second most popular UK brand in the country last year.

Across all of Asia, UK finished vehicles exports went up by 10.4% to 200,280 units. Almost 77% of those were sent to China, Japan and South Korea. The main growth markets for UK-manufactured vehicles were Japan (up 24.5%) and China (up 19.7%). In North America, meanwhile, Canada (up 19.5%) and the US (up 7%) led the way.

According to the SMMT, the UK exports around £1.5 billion ($2.1 billion) worth of components each year to Asia, although it imports in excess of double that.

Volvo global car sales up 22.4% in January 2018 with 60.5% growth in US

Volvo global car sales up 22.4% in January 2018 with 60.5% growth in US

Volvo Cars is off to a good start in 2018 after reporting a global year-on-year sales increase of 22.4 per cent in January, growing in all its main markets.

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Total sales for the month amounted to 43,439 cars, compared with 35,475 cars a year earlier. Sales of the new XC60 as well as its siblings in the 90 series were the main drivers of growth.

Sales increased by a very strong 38.0% cent in China to 11,537 cars in January compared to the year before. The increase comes on the back of the local start of production and sales of the new XC60 mid-size SUV. China also continued to see high demand for the locally produced S90 and S60 saloons.

In Europe, Volvo reported a robust 11.7% sales increase year-on-year for the month of January following strong sales of the new XC60 and XC90 SUVs as well as the V90 estate.

The US market also started the new year strongly, with a year-on-year sales increase in January of 60.5%. The XC90, the S90 and the new XC60 were the main growth drivers in the market, with the all-new XC60 named North American Utility of the Year.

Globally, the new Volvo XC60 was the best-selling model in January, with 11,656 cars sold (2017: N/A), followed by the Volvo XC90, with 6,772 cars sold (6,509). The Volvo S90 was third, with 6,057 sold cars (1,843).

Mitsubishi reports double profit in Q4 2017 driven by strong Asia sales and weak yen

Mitsubishi reports double profit in Q4 2017 driven by strong Asia sales and weak yen

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has announced nine-month financial results for the period to December 31, 2017, and issued a new forecast for its full-year fiscal results ending March 31, 2018.

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For the nine-month period to December 31, Mitsubishi Motors reported revenues up 13% year-on-year to 1.52 trillion yen (approx. $14 billion). Operating profits rose sharply to 64.6 billion yen, representing an operating margin of 4.3%, compared with an operating loss of 23.2 billion yen in the same period of fiscal 2016. The company generated net income of 70.1 billion yen for the latest nine-month period, reversing a net loss of 213.3 billion yen in the prior-year nine-month period.

Global sales performance

Global sales volume for the nine months ended December 31, 2017 increased 15% year-on-year to 777,000 units, reflecting strong demand in Japan, China and the ASEAN region.

Sales in Japan increased 24% year-on-year to 62,000 units. The growth was driven by the resumption of Kei-cars sales, with encouraging demand for models including the "eK Wagon" and "eK Space", as well as for the Delica D:5 and other "Active Gear" series.

In China, sales rose 63% year-on-year to 103,000 units due to demand for the localised Outlander.

ASEAN sales increased by 25% to 187,000 units due to the strong performance of the new XPANDER MPV, which was launched in October in Indonesia.
Sales of the new Eclipse Cross compact SUV have begun smoothly in Europe, which will be followed by other important markets including Oceania, North America and Japan. Demand for the Eclipse Cross is expected to contribute to future sales growth in the full-year and in fiscal 2018.

Revision of the full fiscal year 2017 forecast and the dividend forecast

Given the strong sales performance and the progress of cost reduction during the nine months through the third quarter, Mitsubishi Motors has revised the full year forecast for FY2017 and the fiscal year-end dividend forecast, as shown below:

Full year forecast for FY2017

Osamu Masuko, Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Motors, said: "Given our recovery trend and strong performance in the first nine months of the year, we have today revised our full-year forecast upwards. Demand for new models and increased operational efficiency gives us confidence that we will accomplish this goal for this fiscal year. We will also continue to make necessary investments to build a foundation for our future growth. Based on this outlook, we have revised the year-end dividend forecast from the previous forecast of 7 yen per share to 10 yen."

As reported in the exclusive interview with Trevor Mann, Chief Operating Officer in the latest issue of Automotive Purchasing and Supply Chain magazine; as part of the alliance that includes Nissan and Renault, Mitsubishi Motors is also targeting cost-savings of more than 100 billion yen over the next three years due to development and procurement efficiencies, and platform sharing.

Mercedes-Benz makes best-ever start to a year with more than 193,000 vehicles sold

Mercedes-Benz makes best-ever start to a year with more than 193,000 vehicles sold

With a new sales record, Mercedes-Benz started the year 2018 as successfully as it concluded the previous year.

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In 2017, Mercedes-Benz defended its position as the bestselling premium brand, and the Stuttgart-based company with the three-pointed star continued to be the number one in important markets also this January. In Germany, Great Britain, Portugal, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, the USA, Canada and Brazil for example, Mercedes-Benz maintained its leading position as the premium brand with the most new registrations. January was highly successful also worldwide: With deliveries of 193,414 vehicles and growth of 8.4%, Mercedes-Benz made its best start to a year of all time, thus continuing seamlessly from its seventh consecutive record year.

Mercedes-Benz unit sales by region and market

In the Europe region, 65,286 customers took their new car with the star (+5.9%) – more than ever before in a January. In Germany, unit sales by Mercedes-Benz were 21.6% higher than in January 2017; a total of 21,907 customers took delivery of their new Mercedes-Benz – a new high in unit sales. New sales records were set also in January in Spain, Portugal, Poland and Sweden.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the Stuttgart-based company increased its unit sales compared with the prior-year month by 14.4% to a new high of 94,439 vehicles sold. Of that total, 68,425 Mercedes-Benz models went to China (+16.4%), where almost 10,000 more cars were sold in January than in the best month ever. Mercedes-Benz achieved new sales records for a January also in the markets South Korea, Taiwan, India and Malaysia.

In the NAFTA region, 29,452 vehicles from Mercedes-Benz were delivered to customers, which is slightly lower than the record for a January that was set last year (-1.8%). A total of 25,307 cars with the star were sold in the USA (-0.9%). Due to high demand for Mercedes-Benz vehicles in January, the brand with the three-pointed star was once again the best-selling premium brand in the US.

Mercedes-Benz unit sales by model

Demand for the SUVs from Mercedes-Benz was as high as ever at the beginning of the year. With an increase of 9.9%, a new record was set of 71,409 units sold. The GLC, GLC Coupé and G-Class all set new records for unit sales. The new G-Class had its world premiere at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. Mercedes-Benz has so far delivered a total of five million SUVs to its customers, including two million of the GLE and its predecessor, the M-Class.

The new S-Class Saloon achieved a 25.3% sales increase to 8,130 units in January. The S-Class Saloon was particularly popular in its biggest markets, China and the USA, achieving significant sales growth in both markets. The new S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet models were launched in Europe in January.

Last month, Mercedes-Benz delivered 33,063 of the E-Class Saloon and Estate models to our customers. This represents a 10.4% increase in unit sales and is a new record for a January. Mercedes-Benz has already sold more than 500,000 units of the new generation of the E-Class Saloon and Estate since April 2016.

smart

In January, 9,229 smart fortwo and smart forfour cars were delivered to customers around the world. The brand achieved strong growth of 30.3% in January in Germany, its biggest single market, primarily driven by the ongoing strong demand for electric models.

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