Continued growth in North America
North America is the Group's second largest market and its overall development continued to be positive in 2012.
Growing truck market
In 2012, the total market for heavy-duty trucks in North America increased by 15% to 249,600 trucks compared to 216,100 in the previous year. Demand was strong mainly during the first half of the year, driven primarily by the need to replace the industry’s aging highway tractor population. During the second half, demand weakened as many trucking companies postponed their investment decisions as a consequence of continued uncertainty about the economic development, weak employment growth and the outcome of the federal budget negotiations. For 2013, the market is expected to be at about the 2012 level of 250,000 heavy-duty trucks.
Growth continued on the market for construction equipment during 2012. In total, the market, measured in number of machines, rose by 23% compared to 2011, which also was a year of growth following a number of weak years. For 2013, growth in the North American market is expected to be in the range of minus 5% to plus 5%.
The North American market for city buses continued to be weak due to the budget restrictions in effect in many cities. Recovery in the coach market was slow.
Success thanks to good products and strong network
During 2012, the Volvo Group maintained its market shares in North America. The combined market share in the heavy-duty segment was 18.3% (18.2), on the back of a competitive customer offering of trucks equipped with engines and gearboxes that provide considerable fuel savings, improved drivability, less wear and improved safety. The new drivelines have meant that an increasing number of customers opt for Volvo Group engines. During 2012, 79% (79) of Volvo trucks built in North America were equipped with Volvo engines. The vast majority of Mack trucks are equipped with the Group's Mack engines.
Volvo Trucks' dealers in the US have in recent years made substantial investments in their service networks. In the Southeastern parts of the country, service capacity has increased by some 20% since January 2010. In Texas, service capacity has increased by 32%. In the West, investments have led to a capacity increase of almost 15%.
On the weak North American market for coaches, Prevost defended its position as the second largest brand in the US and Canada with a market share of 30% (34). Nova Bus is the third largest supplier of city buses in North America with a market share of 14% (15) and with considerable potential for continued growth.
Success for I-Shift and mDRIVE
As a result of the strong demand for the Group's automated mechanical transmissions, production of the Volvo I-Shift and Mack mDRIVE gearboxes started at the U.S. engine plant in 2012. Volvo Trucks introduced its I-Shift transmission on the North American market in 2007. During 2012, 59% (45) of trucks with Volvo engines in North America were equipped with I-Shift. Since I-Shift is only available together with Volvo engines, this also helps promote sales of the company's own engines. I-Shift incorporates a host of fuel-saving and productivity-enhancing features into a reliable and lightweight design. mDRIVE was introduced in Mack products in 2010 and already during 2012 it was installed in 27% of all Mack highway trucks.
of machines at the factory in
Volvo CE expands in Shippensburg
Over the next couple of years, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) invests USD 100 M in its Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, USA manufacturing facility. In the long term, the plant will be able to produce 70% of the machines sold in the North American market. Groundbreaking for the new facility was in May of 2012.
UD Trucks ends production for U.S. Market
Due to a combination of factors, including the continued shrinking of the cab-over-engine market segment and the accelerating cost of regulatory compliance, a strategic decision was made to end production of UD trucks for the U.S. market. UD Trucks delivered 472 trucks in North America in 2012.
lineup of trucks that run on natural gas.
On the photo is the Mack Granite.
Volvo Group strengthens its range of trucks powered by natural gas
Under the Mack brand, the range of trucks powered by natural gas will be expanded by a further two models during 2013, Mack Pinnacle and Mack Granite. The Mack TerraPro model is already available to customers in the waste mangement segment. All models will be offered with engines powered by either liquid natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG). The Volvo Group also plans to launch a proprietarily developed 13-liter engine for liquid natural gas (LNG) under the Volvo brand in the North American market in 2014.
During the year all of the Volvo Group's
truck models under the brands Volvo and
Mack were certified according to the
emission regulations coming into effect
in 2014. On the photo is Volvo VNL 780.
Full lineup of trucks earns 2014 greenhouse gas certification
The US Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have certified all Volvo Group truck models in the US, both Mack and Volvo branded, in accordance with 2014 fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas regulations.
- The Volvo Group is committed to leading the way in fuel efficiency, and to reducing the emissions from our operations and products. This shows that the Group is at the forefront of technology development and that the development benefits the entire Group and our brands, said Dennis Slagle, Executive Vice President Group Trucks Sales & Marketing Americas.