ATLANTA, Ga. — Volvo Trucks couldn’t have picked a better year to unveil its new VNL series.
That’s the message it delivered at the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) this week in Atlanta, Ga.
The company, which just unveiled its new VNL series in July, said business this year has been great and it predicts that the long haul, regional, and construction industries will continue to improve in the future. Volvo Trucks’ president, Nyberg took the opportunity at the truck show to give trucking journalists a business update and explain what is in the pipeline for Volvo in the near future.
“It couldn’t have been a better year to go to market with a totally new product range,” he said. “Looking at the business environment, we are bouncing back in the industry, we have a strong labor market and we can see the GDP is getting strong in all three North American countries. We can see GDP growth over 2%, which is a good sign the industry sector is going well.”
Diesel prices, he noted, have stayed on a good level and predicts that prices will only see a slight uptick in the future.
“NAFTA class 8 trucks market is estimated to be at 225,000 trucks this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if those numbers come in slightly stronger,” he said. “We have had a couple of years now, where volumes of trucks have declined, going forward we believe we have a few years of a growing marketplace.”
Nyberg addressed that from 2016-2017, it saw a 5% drop in the long-haul segment.
“That of course has been a bit painful for Volvo Trucks but the forecast looks pretty good, and the highway business is coming back stronger,” he said.
He also predicted that natural gas trucks truck sales will be stagnant.
“We always talk about natural gas, but as you have seen with fuel prices, natural gas has gone sideways and I expect it to continue that way,” he said.
Nyberg added that to date, Volvo Trucks has reached its all-time high take rate of iShift and Volvo Power – 95% and 90% respectively.
“Globally, we are a company that trades in almost 200 countries and our goal is clear — to be the world’s most preferred truck brand in the industry,” he said. “In North America, we are on a good pace and we are really looking forward to harvest all the benefits and opportunities that come with our product range.”