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Photograph: Photo by RL GNZLZ, used under CC BY-SA

Global car sales at China-owned Volvo Cars increased by 8 per cent last year compared to 2014, boosted by strong sales in the United States and Europe.

The carmaker on Friday reported a record 503,127 cars sold in 2015, crossing the half-a-million milestone for the first time in its 89-year history.

"More records will tumble in coming years," Chief Executive Officer Hakan Samuelsson said in a press release.

About half of the global sales were in Europe, where it sold 198,000 cars, up more than 10 per cent compared to 2014. In the US, sales grew 24.3 per cent year-on-year to 70,000 cars.

Sales in China held steady at about 81,500 cars, with Volvo noting that the market was challenging and that sales had increased in the fourth quarter.

Demand for the new XC90 SUV helped sales late in the year.

China-based Zhejiang Geely Holding Group took over ownership of the Swedish carmaker in 2010 from US automotive giant Ford.

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