Iveco chief expects better sales for 2014 image

Iveco expects truck sales in Europe to flatten out in 2014 after two years of falling demand, as the need to replace ageing heavy-duty fleets offsets worries over new regulations.

Sales of commercial vehicles, from vans to heavy-duty haulage lorries, have fallen dramatically in Europe since the financial crisis, reflecting a slump in economic growth and industrial activity.

Nevertheless, the president of Europe’s fourth-largest truck maker by sales said, following suggestions from rivals that the worst might be over for the industry, that the small sales decrease this year is set to flatten out in 2014.

“I do not think that sales will go down in 2014. The heavy segment will increase,” Lorenzo Sistino told the Financial Times, referring to trucks able to carry more than 16 tons of freight. “The fleet needs to be refreshed. We think that sales will recover.”

Sales in Europe this year will be just over 1.6m trucks, or two-thirds of the continent’s pre-crisis total. High unemployment and sluggish economic activity, particularly in southern European countries, has severely reduced demand.

On the other hand, Volvo, Europe’s second-biggest truckmaker by sales, has said it expects sales of heavy-duty trucks to remain flat next year, while Daimler, the continent’s biggest brand, has said it is “optimistic for 2014”, without providing a specific outlook.

Via Financial Times