Improving market conditions

In the first two months of 2011, the total number of registrations in Europe 29 (EU, Norway and Switzerland) increased by 56% to 33,723 heavy-duty trucks (21,548). The main drivers of demand are the northern and central parts of Europe, where markets such as Germany and France have showed good progress. In general demand is higher in the long haul segment, whereas activity in the construction segment remains low in the southern parts of Europe. In 2011, the total market for heavy-duty trucks in Europe 29 is expected to increase to a level of about 230,000-240,000 trucks. The previous forecast was 220,000 trucks.

Demand in Russia has recovered strongly from low levels, and is set to show continued growth across all segments.

Through the first quarter of 2011, the total market for heavy-duty trucks in North America increased by 35% to 40,889 trucks compared to 30,363 in the previous year. While highway truck customers and bigger fleets in particular have largely driven the recovery in the market, smaller fleets, with increasing access to credit, have started to become more active. On the vocational side, there are initial signs of improvement in customer segments such as natural gas and oil production. In 2011, the North American market for heavy-duty trucks is expected to reach a level of 230,000-240,000 trucks. The previous forecast was 220,000 trucks.

In South America, the Brazilian heavy-duty truck market continues to be strong, primarily driven by favorable macro economic development. The total market in Brazil increased by 3% to 25,542 heavy-duty trucks for the first three months of 2011 (24,710).

In India, the market for heavy-duty trucks in the first two months of 2011 rose by 17% to 41,737 trucks (35,631). The Group’s largest market in terms of sales in Asia is Japan, where the market for heavy-duty trucks was 6,770 vehicles in the first three months of 2011 (5,967), which was an increase of 13%. Following the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, there is considerable uncertainty about the market development for 2011. The previous forecast was for a growth of approximately 10%.