Volvo CE President and Chief Exeuctive Pat Olney has used a press conference in Miami to confirm his belief that the recovery in the North American construction equipment market is gathering momentum. His comments, to a group of leading Americas business journalists attending an event on sustainability during the Miami stoppover of the Volvo Ocean Race, came shortly after the company posted a spectacular 111% uptick in North American revenues in the first quarter of 2012.
“Demand for construction equipment in North America jumped 35% during the first three months of the year,” Olney states. “This shows us that the recovery that began last year is gathering pace and that our earlier forecast of a 15 to 25% year-on-year improvement for 2012 is attainable.”
Volvo CE’s North American performance during the quarter helped the company to a 17% increase in global net sales and to post record levels of profitability for a first quarter.
Olney used the press event, held on Thursday May 17, to emphasize the company’s commitment to the environment and sustainability. He drew journalists’ attention to Volvo CE’s Stage IIIB/Tier 4 Interim emissions compliant range of engine systems – and highlighted the more than 60 new fuel-efficient products that are being introduced to the global range in 2012. These products form part of the most fundamental overhaul ever of the company’s product portfolio – and will go some way to helping Volvo CE achieve its WWF Climate Savers commitment of reducing CO2 emissions from its machines sold between 2009 and 2014 by 15 million tons.
“Volvo Construction Equipment is in a good position to capitalize on improving market conditions in North America,” says Olney. “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.
Confidence in American market
As previously announced Volvo CE is spending $100 million in a product and manufacturing expansion program at its North American facilities. The latter investment will see its facility in Shippensburg 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 world-class customer and demonstration center will also be built in Shippensburg.
“After a protracted downturn we have every confidence that the North American market is well on the road to recovery,” Olney states. “We are continuing to invest throughout the business cycle in our people, our production facilities and distribution networks. With a technologically advanced fleet of innovative – and award winning – products, we have made a strong commitment to the Americas and regard it as a home market for the company.”