DALLAS. Volvo Trucks North America reports that Class 8 truck sales remain robust in the U.S. market and, despite tapering off slightly from last year’s high rate, are projected to stay healthy well into 2006.
“We are still getting a lot of price requests and orders,” said Scott Kress, Volvo’s vp-sales and marketing, here at the Great American Trucking Show. “Our deliveries through July this year topped 14,689 units and our market share overall has picked up three percentage points since 2002 and three-tenths of a percent since 2004, putting us at a 10.3% share in the U.S. Class 8 market.”
In response to steady demand, Volvo plans to boost production at its New River Valley, VA, truck plant from 128 to 143 units per day by mid-September, Kress said. In addition, by the end of the year, all D12 and D16 Volvo engines for its U.S. trucks will be built at the OEM’s Hagerstown, MD, plant, rather than at the Volvo plant in Sweden. He pointed out that this move will cut six weeks out of Volvo’s order-to-delivery time.
Kress added that the OEM is not seeing any significant “pre-buy” in regard to the impending introduction of new emission rules in 2007. “The demand we are seeing now is mostly for replacement equipment, with some to handle fleet expansion,” he said. “However, the continuing driver shortage is really restricting expansion efforts by many fleets,” he added.