It's common to underestimate demand for new and refreshing products, but to miss the mark by this much is not what Volvo expected.
It seems the Swedish automaker thought few buyers would line up for its various plug-in hybrid models, but in fact, it's so overwhelmed with PHEV demand that Volvo can't nearly keep up. So, what's the solution then?
Increase production as quickly as possible. However, there's a problem with this, as Volvo doesn't make its own battery packs. Therefore, Volvo will reach out to its various suppliers and reconfigure things internally to up plug-in hybrid production, but the process will take some time.
According to Volvo, plug-in hybrid production will increase by triple today's volume, but that won't occur until the end of this year. And by tripling, Volvo means that by the end of 2019, the volume will be triple what it was back in 2018.
Volvo CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, told Automotive News the following in regards to underestimated plug-in hybrid demand:
We are not happy because we could sell more [plug-in hybrids], he said. We underestimated the demand.
We are tripling the capacity from what we had about a year ago to where we will be at the end of this year.
According to Samuelsson, plug-in hybrids account for up to 15% of sales of some particular models offered that are offered in both standard petrol/diesel and plug-in hybrid variants.
Meanwhile, Volvo's Polestar brand is highly focused on plug-in vehicles. Its first, the Polestar 1, is a very limited plug-in hybrid offering, whereas Polestar 2 is a fully electric car aimed to compete with the Tesla Model 3.