While the motoring industry is suffering there is one manufacturer who is doing rather well against the opposition. Step forward Volvo.

In the UK last year they sold more than 50,000 cars which was their highest number for almost 30 years; general sales were up by nine per cent compared to the previous year which was compared to a seven per cent decline for the market as a whole.

They increased their market share in the UK and it’s quite amazing to note that Volvo sales around the world topped the 640,000 mark. Sales increased by more than 12 per cent on the previous year.

Of course the market place to be in is China and the Chinese just love their Volvos. In the January-to-December period, US sales grew by 20.6 per cent to 98,263 cars compared with the same period the year before.

The man with one of the best jobs in motoring is Jon Wakefield who is the MD of Volvo Car UK, and he is a happy man.

"In a challenging year for the UK new car market, we have confirmed our position as the fastest-growing premium car brand,” he said.

“From these results, it is clear that customers are continuing to respond positively to the style, quality and appeal of our range of premium cars, and appreciating the lead we are taking in pushing the boundaries of safety and technology.

"The results are not just about figures on a spreadsheet, they also reflect the hard work and commitment of everyone in our business and the retail network.

"We will sustain our efforts to build on this success in 2019, supported by the introduction of further new models, including the S60 saloon and the Cross Country version of the new V60 estate."

And I’ve just been driving the Volvo S90 and I have to say they don’t make a bad car at all. It was just brilliant.

The good thing is that Volvo has been able to take on the Germans and beat them at their own game. Their cars are now better.

The S90 is a class act, right up to date with style, performance and comfort. It’s the sort of car you wanted to drive and drive and drive.

There is a choice of two four-cylinder turbodiesels, with 187bhp and 232bhp and the latter is the better choice.

Remember Volvo don’t do more than two litre engines now and they will soon be running down diesel engines next which is a shame because this engine is quite wonderful.

The ride is nice and firm but the controls work well and are easy to follow and there is a large touchscreen which control around 100 functions. When you’ve got it licked its easy peasy.

As you would expect the seating is like being in cinema, great comfort but not that it would ever let you nod off. There is bags of room for four or five adults on a long journey.

Prices start at around £33,000 and and then go to the £40,000 mark.

On the fuel front the S90 will give you 60mpg with emissions on 116g/km.

Volvo has been around for coming up for 100 years and they are one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world.

Since 2010 Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding of China. It used to be part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the US Ford Motor Company stepped who then sold it on 2010 to China.

In 2018, Volvo Cars employed 40,000 employees and there is a link with Gothenburg, Sweden but Volvo Cars head office for China is located in Shanghai.

The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), South Carolina (US), Chengdu and Daqing (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).

Last year Volvo enjoyed a year of unprecedented success in the UK in 2018, receiving 43 major honours from the media, motoring organisations and the wider creative industry.

This scale of achievement was reflected internationally, too, with the Volvo XC40 premium compact SUV named European Car of the Year and the XC60 mid-size SUV acclaimed as the World Car of the Year.