Volvo CEO Highlights Advances in North American Market

September 26, 2011

Speaking at a media briefing for Americas-based trade press journalists, Volvo CE’s president and chief executive Pat Olney outlined the progress on the company’s investment plans for North America. He also highlighted the introduction of environmentally friendly Tier 4 interim compliant products in North America, with the successful launch of new generations of machines affected by the legislation.

The briefing was held Sept. 22 at Volvo’s Shippensburg, Pa., production facility, which will also become the headquarters of the company’s newly formed Americas sales and marketing region.

“North America is obviously far from being at full strength, but from a low level we are cautiously optimistic and believe our previous forecast for growth of between 25-35 percent in 2011 to be accurate,” said Olney. “The recovery in South America is more robust, with strong growth occurring across the whole of the continent – increasing by up to 20 percent this year.”

“To meet this heightened demand across the two continents, we are investing in our production and supplier capability in North and South America, allowing us to make more machines locally, design them to better meet local needs and supply them more quickly to customers. We are confident that the very visible investment commitments we are making will afford us a more significant share of these markets.”

As previously announced, the company is spending $100 million in a product and manufacturing expansion program at its North American facilities. The investment will see its Shippensburg facility expanded to accommodate production of Volvo wheel loaders, excavators and articulated haulers – adding 16 new machines to the 50 road machinery products already produced at the plant. A customer and demonstration center will also be built in Shippensburg.

Underlining confidence in the long-term strength of the United States, Olney used his presentation to highlight the efforts being made to expand and strengthen Volvo’s distribution network in North America, which currently consists of 252 branches operated by 49 dealerships. “The company has also led the industry in its introduction of complete new ranges of Tier 4i compliant machines”, he said, “and these low emission machines are predominantly more productive and fuel efficient than the models they replaced.”

“Volvo Construction Equipment is in a good position to capitalize on improving market conditions, both in North and South America,” he concluded. “We are outperforming the market conditions by offering a young fleet of innovative products tailored to meet the needs of specific customer groups, combined with a strong and loyal distribution network and a substantial investment program. We have made a strong commitment to North America and regard it as a core market for the company.”