Fourth consecutive year of record sales for Volvo

Swedish car firm Volvo achieved a fourth straight year of record sales in 2017, with the Asia Pacific market leading the charge.
Global sales increased by seven percent compared to 2016, reaching a total of 571,577 cars, the car maker owned by Chinese group Geely said when announcing its numbers for the year on Thursday.
Purchases of the new XC60 and 90-series cars were the biggest driving factors. In the Asia Pacific region sales grew by 20.9 percent, while in China they were up 25.8 percent. Sales also increased in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.
It was a particularly good year for Volvo in home nation Sweden too, where for the 60th year in a row the company was the market leader in terms of the total number of registered cars (75,506). That's 81 more cars registered than their previous record year in the country, 1976.
"2017 was another historic year for us. We're very happy about that. We're also taking a well-filled order book into 2018, which feels good," Volvo Cars Sweden sales director Jessica Span said in a statement.
In December, a group of families started testing the first self-driving XC90s on Sweden's roads, capable of autonomously staying in lane on the highway, turning with the contour of the road and maintaining a safe distance from the vehicles around them. The trial is part of Volvo's planned rollout of completely autonomous vehicles by 2021.

The car manufacturer also plans to have electric motors in every car it launches from 2019 onwards, putting an end to the days of Volvos driven solely by internal combustion engines.