Volvo expects the European and US commercial-vehicle markets to recover in 2013 as the global economic growth rebounds.
Chief Executive Officer Olof Persson said that Volvo plans to introduce this year new Renault Truck models, building on the introduction of Volvo’s FH lineup in 2012, as the industry shows signs of gradual improving. Volvo, which is the second-biggest truck maker after Daimler, expects the European truck market to increase by 4.1% this year to 230,000 units.
In 2012 industrywide sales dropped in Europe as the 17 nations that share the euro went into recession during the third quarter. Volvo’s operating profit dropped 84% during the fourth quarter due decreased deliveries and spending on a reorganizing plan that also included job cuts. Volvo cut almost 2,000 jobs during the fourth quarter, half of them in Japan, ended bus production in Sweden and closed a plant in Japan. At the end of 2012 Volvo had 98,717 employees globally.
“The market believes in the long-term restructuring,” analysts including David Arnold at Credit Suisse said.
Volvo said that truck sales for 2012 are estimated at about 221,000 units, but expects this year North America to account for the 250,000 deliveries which were estimated for 2012. The automaker also expects to see demand in Brazil reach 105,000 trucks, an increase from the previous forecast of 95,000 units.