Sales in Asia accounted for 24% of Group net sales during 2011. In 2000 the corresponding figure was 7%. The sharp increase has primarily been achieved by the acquisitions of UD Trucks of Japan (which was named Nissan Diesel at the time of the acquisition), the majority in Lingong of China and through the joint venture VECV in India, but also through substantial organic growth in many markets.
Through the brands UD Trucks, Volvo, Renault Trucks and Eicher, the Volvo Group has strong positions in Japan, India, Korea and all of Southeast Asia.
In Japan the heavy-duty truck market grew by 1% to 24,800 vehicles during 2011. The first half of the year was weak, primarily as an effect of the earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit the country on March 11. Towards the end of the year, there were signs of a recovery in the market, among other things against the backdrop of the work to rebuild devastated regions beginning to get underway. For 2012, the Japanese market for heavy-duty trucks is expected to grow to approximately 30,000 vehicles.
In China the largest part of net sales stem from construction equipment. The Chinese market slowed somewhat during the latter part of 2011 after a number of years of strong growth. In total, the market grew by 7% during the year. The Volvo Group strengthened its position as leader in the segment for wheel loaders and excavators. In Asia outside of China, the market for construction equipment grew by 28%. In 2012 the Chinese market is expected to be on the same level as in 2011. Asia excluding China is expected to grow by 10-20%.