US demand boosts Volvo truck deliveries

Swedish truckmaker Volvo said that deliveries of trucks in July 2002 increased 29% year-on-year, boosted by a surge in demand from the United States.

Volvo said 12,673 trucks were delivered in July compared with 9,788 a year ago, a boost due to a rush of orders from the United States because of new US engine emission regulations that take effect in autumn.

North America generates some 30% of the turnover of Volvo, the world's second-biggest maker of heavy trucks.

Volvo said the surge in demand was a one-off, and on a year-to-date basis deliveries totaled 89,776 trucks compared with 91,872 trucks, representing a 2% fall.

“In the USA, both the high delivery rate and the slow order intake are results of customers pre-buying trucks before the new emission regulations came into effect in October this year,” Volvo Chief Executive Leif Johansson said in a statement.

Looking at its US Mack Trucks unit, Volvo said that as expected the surge in North American heavy-duty truck order intake ended in July, after the filling of available production slots for trucks with EPA 2002 engines.

In Europe, although the market there had slowed down in the first half of the year compared with 2001, deliveries from Renault Trucks at the end of July were close to being flat.

In July, Volvo posted a return to profit in the second quarter as expected and its CEO was cautiously upbeat about full-year prospects.

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