2004 was the best year yet in Volvo Trucks' history. Deliveries increased by 29% to a record-beating 97,264 from 75,312 in 2003. There was considerable demand for heavy trucks on all the major markets in Europe, North and South America, and Asia.
As in the previous two years, the demand for heavy trucks continued to increase in Europe in 2004. The total market expanded by 12% to 256,000 vehicles from 228,000 in 2003. In Western Europe, the German, French, and Spanish markets advanced by 17%, 5%, and 8%, respectively. Sales in Eastern Europe expanded by 29%, and the need for transport is expected rise because trade between Eastern and Western Europe is continuing to grow apace. The economies of the new EU member states in Eastern Europe continued to grow. One positive example is the Polish truck market, which swelled by 58%.
In North America, the total heavy truck market gained 42% to 255,000 vehicles from 179,000 the year before, primarily owing to increased transportation and haulage companies' need to renew their vehicle fleets. Sales of Volvo Class 8 trucks rose markedly during the year, totalling 26,035 for a 52% gain from 17,160 units in 2003.
The International Division recorded its best-ever year, characterized by strong expansion, with deliveries totalling 26,304 units, an increase of 43% from 18,379 in 2003. On the Iranian market, sales grew by no less than 83% to 9,979 vehicles from 5,463 in 2003. The Brazilian market for heavy trucks increased by 34% in 2004 to 48,500 vehicles from 36,100 the year before. Volvo Trucks delivered 6,336 units (+34%).