Long-term growth

The recovery that started in the Group's mature markets in 2010 continued in Western Europe and North America during 2011, with some tendencies towards a weakening in Europe towards the end of the year. Overall, demand in the Group's growth markets continued its strong development, but also here demand weakened somewhat towards the end of the year.

In the long-term, demand for freight capacity, and thus many of the Group’s products, is closely linked to the GDP trend. The extent of investment in infrastructure, which drives demand for building and construction equipment, is also closely linked to the GDP trend. In the somewhat shorter-term, demand is affected by a number of factors including fuel prices, the implementation of new emission regulations, interest rates, etc.