The total market for industrial engines was strong during the first half of the year, but demand in Europe and North America weakened toward year-end due to the debt crisis and global financial turmoil. Stable demand was noted in China and many other countries in Asia and South America.
The total market for marine engines remained largely unchanged compared with the weak trend during recent years. European boat sales were adversely impacted by bailout packages and austerity measures in Southern Europe, particularly in Italy and Spain. Domestic boat sales in Italy, which is traditionally Volvo Penta’s largest marine market in Europe, are estimated to have decreased about 70% over five years.
In North America, boat sales were consistently at historically low levels and as a result, total demand for both marine gasoline and diesel engines remained very low in the US.