Volvo betters Mexican emission standards

by Steve Bouchard

Volvo demonstrated its environmental commitment through fleet graphics at a recent trade show in Puebla, Mexico.

PUEBLA, Mexico – Mexico’s emissions standards for heavy trucks have traditionally lagged behind those elsewhere in North America. As recently as June, new trucks could limit themselves to meeting EPA 2004 or Euro IV standards. But that’s changed.

As of June 30, equipment needs to comply with EPA 2007 or Euro V emissions standards.

Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) is going further than that. During the ExpoTransporte trade show in Puebla, the OEM announced that it will move directly to EPA 2017 standards.

It will be a winning bet for Mexican truck buyers given the significant fuel savings that come with the restricted greenhouse gas emissions, said Magnus Koeck, VTNA’s vice-president of marketing and brand management.

Combining the proprietary I-shift transmission, a common rail engine, and wave pistons, the latest generation can improve fuel economy by 8%, Volvo adds.

“It is very important to reduce our environmental footprint, and this is achieved in terms of energy efficiency for us. By improving energy efficiency by eight percent, we are eliminating millions of tonnes of CO2, and that’s important for building a better future,” said Irma Soto, Volvo’s director of marketing and communications in Mexico.

Signs of the company’s environmental commitment were clearly on display during the show. Its trucks were decorated with images of Mexican wildlife that are protected species or at risk of extinction.

Each was also meant to carry a subtle message.

“The jaguar, for example, represents the efficiency and silence of Volvo trucks. The wolf represents protection. The parrot speaks all the time, as do our trucks that constantly communicate with telematics,” Soto said.

“It’s very important to reduce our environmental footprint, and this is achieved in terms of energy efficiency for us,” said Irma Soto.

Growing market share

Peter Voorhoeve, president of VTNA, believes the decision will help the company strengthen its presence in Mexico.

The OEM has already made some gains in the market. While its market share is a modest 3.4% this year, that is up significantly from the 1.9% recorded in 2018.

“It’s true that Volvo Trucks was a small player in Mexico. But right now, we are growing. We are in a good position in Canada, we are in a good position in the United States, and we are strengthening our position in Mexico with these trucks,” he said.

“We are making significant investments, not only in the product, but also in our people,” he added, introducing Luz Elena Jurado, Volvo’s new CEO in Mexico. Juardo is the first Mexican native to take on this role.

The market share gains have not been limited to Mexico, either.

Volvo Trucks has been very successful in Canada in recent years, increasing its market share from 10.6% to 13.7% between 2017 and 2019.

“Our market share in Canada is very good and continues to grow. First, the truck is very competitive and the environment for the driver is excellent,” Voorhoeve said. “We are traditionally known for our large sleeper berths, which are very popular in Canada, but we also have the VNR,” which he says is far superior to the previous regional model, the VNM.

Peter Voorhoeve (left) joins Luz Elena Jurado — Volvo Trucks North America’s new CEO in Mexico, and Mark Curri, senior vice-president of uptime and customer support.

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