Report – Volvo forecasts flat demand in Europe image

The Swedish car company’s CEO, Hakan Samuelsson forecasts flat demand in Europe’s struggling automotive sector this year as the region slowly pulls out of the latest deep downturn.

Volvo, whose parent is China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, returned to profit in 2013 after a dismal 2012 and is aiming to take a bigger share of the US market as recovery takes hold.

The Financial Times paper quoted Samuelsson as saying things were clearly improving in the European region.

“We should not expect any growth this year but a leveling out,” he said. “And that is really a positive thing because last year we lost about 5 percent, and that has to be compensated by China or the US. But if Europe stops shrinking, that is a step forward,” adding that demand in Germany would be crucial.

In the same report, Samuelsson said he saw a positive development for the US car market this year, forecasting growth of between 2 to 3 %.

“Last year we lost market share. So we have addressed that now… You cannot imagine Volvo without a strong presence in the US,” he said.

Volvo’s global sales rose 1 % in 2013 to 427,840. Deliveries were up 46 % in China, but fell 10 % in the United States. In Europe, sales were flat.

Via Automotive News Europe