The truck operation’s total net order intake declined by 1% in the first quarter compared to the year-earlier period. Compared to the fourth quarter orders rose by 5%.
Following the slowdown in European truck demand in the fourth quarter last year, European orders improved during the first quarter 2012 to 23,400 trucks, 19% higher than in the fourth quarter. The number of delivered trucks reached 20,000 units resulting in a book-to-bill ratio of 117%. On the back of higher order intake, production rates will be adjusted moderately upwards.
The positive development in North America continued with orders up 17% compared to last year. The XE13 powertrain package continues to be highly appreciated in the market and it was also recently recognized with a Technical Achievement Award by The Truck Writers of North America for being the industry’s most significant technical innovation in 2011.
In South America, orders declined during the first quarter as a consequence of the new emission regulation in Brazil that came into effect January 1, 2012. Order intake in the quarter was down 25% compared with the same quarter last year. To reflect the lower order intake, production rates will be adjusted down in May and June.
Orders in Asia declined by 8% while orders to Other markets rose by 22%.