In every respect, 2008 was a year of extremes. From record sales and earnings during the first half of the year to a weak close, with losses in the fourth quarter. From 12-month delivery times for trucks and problems with bottlenecks in production to weak order bookings, a large number of cancellations and shutdown days in our plants during the latter part of the year.
Due to the sharp slowdown in the global economy triggered by the financial crisis that started in the summer of 2008, we decided already during the autumn to initiate the actions that are required as a recession approaches. In a declining economy, it is extremely important to act quickly to reduce the Group’s cost level and ensure we do not build inventories, since large inventories generally lead to pressure on prices. In the present situation, it is also highly important that we continue to reduce our working capital and work hard to create a cash flow that will improve our freedom of action.