Geely owned Volvo Cars said first half 2019 sales of 340,826 cars was both a record for the period and up 7.3% year on year.

Last year's H1 tally was 317,639 units.

The automaker said it saw "steady growth" in China, the US and Europe in the first six months of the year with China booking record first half and June unit volume.

Volvo claimed it grew consistently faster than its premium competitors, gaining market share across these regions.

SUVs continued to drive sales, led by the XC60, most recently launched XC40 and recently refreshed XC90.

The latest models, the V60 estate and US-built S60 saloon, also contributed to the rise in volume.

The automaker has also started first customer deliveries of its mild-hybrid model variants.

However, worldwide, June sales dipped 2% to 62,775 vehicles as Europe volume fell 9% to 30,234 units, and the home, and largest market in the region, Sweden, reported a 41.7% plunge to 5,762 cars.

Volvo said this was due to unusually high sales in June 2018 ahead of a new emissions tax, known in Sweden as the Bonus Malus, in July 2018. 

European first half sales, in contrast, rose 6%, headed by the XC40 and XC60 plus the V60.

Global sales totalled 174,398 units with the UK and Germany seeing growth of 29.6% and 32% respectively.

The record first half tally in in China was 67,741 cars, up 10.2% year on year, due to strong demand for the locally produced XC60 and S90. The June result was also a single month record of 13,238 units, up 13.3%.

US sales reached 50,120 cars in the first half of the year, up 5.2%.

SUVs remained popular in the region, contributing to the growth.

June US sales inched up 0.7% to 9,934 cars.