Positive trend in electro-mobility
Volvo Buses has sales in 85 countries and one of the industry’s most comprehensive service networks, with more than 1,500 dealerships and workshops worldwide. Production facilities are located in Europe, North America, South America and Asia.
New product program for Euro 6
During 2013, Volvo Buses launched a completely new product program for Europe, with engines that comply with the new Euro 6 emission requirements. The step from Euro 5 to Euro 6 entails that emissions of nitrogen oxide will be reduced by 77%, while the amount of particulates in exhaust fumes will be halved. At the same time, the buses’ fuel consumption and climate impact have been reduced. For some models, fuel saving is a full 10%. Sales commenced during the second half of the year and the new products were well received in the market. In addition Volvo Buses introduced the Volvo 7900 Articulated Hybrid bus during 2013 along with an upgraded coach program.
Beyond Euro 6 – electromobility
Volvo Buses continues to develop its market-leading position in electromobility worldwide. Transport systems with electric hybrids and/or completely electric vehicles make it possible to reduce energy consumption, climate impact, noise and emissions and are therefore viewed by many cities around the world as the key to sustainable public transport. Under a joint City Mobility format, Volvo commenced cooperation on electromobility with Gothenburg, Hamburg, Luxembourg, Montréal and Stockholm.
The first Volvo brand electric hybrid bus was introduced in 2009. Since then, approximately 1,300 hybrid buses have been delivered to customers in 21 countries. Most of the sales occur in Europe. At the same time, important breakthroughs were made in several markets. Volvo Buses in South America received an order for 200 hybrid buses for Bogotá, Colombia. Volvo Buses’ North American subsidiary Nova Bus sold 475 hybrid buses to Quebec in Canada. Sunwin Bus in China, of which Volvo owns 50%, is among the world’s largest manufacturers of large electric buses. During 2013, Sunwin Bus delivered more than 300 electric buses.
Volvo Buses’ hybrid program expanded in 2013, with an articulated bus model and a new more fuel-efficient diesel engine. From 2014, all complete low-floor buses sold by Volvo in Europe are hybrid buses.
In spring 2013, a field test commenced with Volvo’s first plug-in hybrid buses in Gothenburg. The technology entails that the bus’ battery may be charged via an electricity network at the terminals and that the bus will be able to operate quietly and free from exhaust gases for approximately seven kilometers on electricity alone. The tests, which were conducted in autumn 2013, showed that the fuel consumption and climate impact emissions for the plug-in buses were more than 80% lower than for conventional diesel buses. The total energy consumption (diesel and electricity) is more than 60% lower. Commercial manufacturing of Volvo’s plug-in hybrids is scheduled for 2015.
In Gothenburg, Sweden Volvo has taken the initiative for ElectriCity – an innovative collaboration project with the City of Gothenburg as a demonstration and test arena for the electric public transport of the future. The project includes a bus service that will operate commercially on fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids starting in 2015.
Deliveries decreased but order intake increased
The global bus market remained weak during 2013. Volvo Buses’ deliveries declined to 8,910 buses and bus chassis compared with 9,297 during 2012. However, the total order intake increased to 9,621 units in 2013 compared with 8,905 in the preceding year.
Several important orders were signed, in addition to those mentioned above. For example, Volvo Buses’ North American subsidiary Prevost received an order for 300 commuter buses to New York City. In February, Volvo Buses’ other North American subsidiary Nova Bus secured an order for 475 hybrid buses to Quebec, Canada. Nova Bus also received an order for 414 low floor city buses from MTA New York City Transit.
Due to lower volumes and increased price pressure in Europe, Volvo Buses has concentrated the manufacture of complete buses in Europe to the company’s production facility in Wroclaw, Poland. The manufacture of Volvo Buses in Säffle, Sweden, was discontinued during the second quarter of 2013.
Loss for the full year
During 2013, net sales declined by 15% to SEK 16,707 M (19,587). Net sales declined in all markets. Adjusted for changes in exchange rates, net sales declined by 10%.
Operating income excluding restructuring charges amounted to a negative SEK 190 M (148) and the operating margin excluding restructuring charges was a negative 1.1% (0.8). No restructuring charges were recorded during the year compared with SEK 110 M in the preceding year. Profitability was negatively impacted by low volumes, a negative currency impact of SEK 199 M, a negative market and product mix as well as the price pressure in Europe.