Mr. Olney, speaking in Sweden on May 24th to an audience of 100 leading international trade press journalists, said: "With recoveries now gaining speed in our traditional markets of Europe & North America and continued strong growth in BRIC markets, the prospects for the industry are brightening for equipment companies with a global industrial and distribution footprint. But although necessary," he continued, "Good distribution is insufficient to succeed in the new-look construction industry. To prosper, you have to offer products to customers that are much suited to their local needs, resources and applications - and this requires a significant rethink of the traditional product offering."
Driving home his view point and outlining an investment program that runs into hundreds millions of dollars, Mr. Olney also highlighted more than 50 new and innovative products that are being introduced in 2011. "It is the combination of reliable, fuel-efficient and appropriate products, high production quality and strong aftermarket support that are the customers' order winning criteria today. With these in place Mr. Olney added that Volvo CE was 'particularly well positioned' to capitalize on the continued growth in the major markets.
Volvo Construction Equipment, the third largest manufacturer in the industry, has enjoyed strong growth in recent quarters. In just three months from January to March 2011, the company's sales increased by 53% (SEK 15,759 M) and profitability by 70% (SEK 1,708 M). In addition, the first quarter also saw Volvo become the market leader in wheel loaders and excavators in China - by far the world's largest construction equipment market. The company has also introduced in recent months a widespread product renewal program with the introduction of Tier 4i/Stage IIIB emission compliant machines that not only emit lower emissions but also offer higher productivity and improved fuel economy.
Apart from developing fuel efficient products, we will continue to capitalize on our strong position in Europe and North America, while at the same time expanding our industrial footprint in the BRIC markets," concluded Mr. Olney. "It's good to remember that we remain in a cyclical industry - so we will also concentrate on maintaining a high level of flexibility in the production system."