Volvo bearish on North America

Sept. 21, 2001
Sweden-based Volvo Global Trucks, parent company of Vovlo Trucks North America, said that truck deliveries are off 15% this year, with orders from North American demand dropping 30% compared to just 5% in Europe. Market deliveries up to and including August amounted to 100,134 units, compared with 117,470 last year, Volvo said. “We are still seeing no signs of improvement on the North American market.
Sweden-based Volvo Global Trucks, parent company of Vovlo Trucks North America, said that truck deliveries are off 15% this year, with orders from North American demand dropping 30% compared to just 5% in Europe. Market deliveries up to and including August amounted to 100,134 units, compared with 117,470 last year, Volvo said.

“We are still seeing no signs of improvement on the North American market. At this stage it is too early to foresee how the market will be affected by the tragic events of last week, but we have no doubt that it will increase uncertainty for our industry,” said Tryggve Sthen, Volvo’s president. “Certain markets in Southern Europe are still strong, but on the whole we can see that demand in Europe is diminishing.” Sthen said Volvo’s profitability is under pressure due to the North American economic situation.

In North America, between January and August, deliveries from Volvo’s Mack Trucks unit amounted to 16,482 units, which was 32% lower than during the same period last year. Heavy-duty deliveries totaled 15,876, and medium-duty totaled 606, versus 833 in 2000. However, amid the persistent weakness in North America, Mack reported that its market share increased to 14%, two full percentage points higher than at the same time last year.

Volvo Trucks North America delivered 43,476 vehicles in total between January and August, 1,458 of which were Mitsubishi Canters. The North American market for heavy trucks is still in a very serious state, with low prices for used vehicles and weak demand for new ones, the company said. The industry is plagued by poor profitability, and several dealers have gone out of business.

In Europe, demand is expected to continue decreasing, and very tough competition continues. An unexpectedly strong demand in southern Europe compensates the total downturn to some extent, Stehn added. He said the markets in Eastern Europe and Asia are developing well, while the downturn in South America is becoming more pronounced.

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr | Editor in Chief

Sean previously reported and commented on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry. Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

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