"The last time this happened was in 1962, and Volkswagen was at the top even then", VW added, referring to the Volkswagen Beetle.
Volvo sold 21,321 of its V70/XC70/S90/V90, which are counted as one model in Bil Sweden's statistics, in 2016, second behind Volkswagen Golf.
Following two bond issues earlier in 2016, the premium-car maker sold convertible preference shares to institutional investors in Volvo's home country of Sweden, including two pension funds and insurance company Folksam.
Volvo Cars continues accelerating toward a possible initial public offering, flush with 5 billion Swedish kronor ($545 million) in equity financing and record-high sales under Chinese owner Geely. The Golf achieved 22,084 registrations in 2016, outranking three models sold by Volvo (VOLVY).
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The association also revealed there have been 372,296 new registrations in the country previous year, which is 7.9 percent more than 2015. That's because this automobile from Volkswagen (ETR:VOW3) has sold more than any Volvo auto. Truck sales rose by a whopping 15.3 percent, with 58,174 new trucks sold past year.
Volkswagen toppled Volvo off its top place for the first time in more than 50 years, according to the German maker.
"Our forecast is that around 18,000 new super green cars will be registered in 2017, which represents a share of five percent of the total market", said Bil Sweden's CEO Bertil Moldén.
Volvo's vehicle business has been owned by Chinese company Zhejiang Geely Holdings since its takeover in 2010, but sales figures have suggested that Volvo Cars may file for an Initial Public Offering in 2017.