Volvo said orders in North America improved by 73 percent and reached a total of 17,772 vehicles, up from 10,251 the previous year, as the group gained market share in the region. Net orders in the third quarter amounted to 50,449 trucks, up from 44,224 vehicles a year ago while orders in Asia grew by 4 percent, while those in Europe and South America declined by 6 percent and 16 percent respectively.
Volvo on Friday raised its forecast for the North American market for heavy-duty trucks to about 270,000 vehicles in 2014 from a previous forecast of 260,000. For 2015, the market is expected grow to about 280,000.
Investments in new products and an expanded dealer network in the region is paying off, said chief executive Olof Persson in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. He said that a repositioning of the company’s Mack brand earlier this year, which included a new version of the brand’s famed Bulldog logo and an increased focus on highway products, has received positive feedback from customers.
“Mack is also a strong brand within construction, and that segment of the market is starting to come back,” Persson said.
Mack Trucks has seen its share of North American truck sales shrink for almost a decade, from 13 percent when it was bought by the Volvo Group in 2001 to 8 percent in 2013, and the 114-year-old brand has, since 2010, invested almost $100 million in its plants and products to reverse the trend. Its 428 dealers have collectively spent $300 million in new facilities, service bays, more parts and employees.
“We feel like we are in a very good position to grow our business as the market grows,” said Stephen Roy, president of North American sales and marketing. He said Mack is looking to grow its overall market share in the U.S. to 10 percent this year, and to approach a market share of 13 percent by 2016.
A brand tradition for road builders and cement contractors, Mack is now also trying to gain market share by growing in the highway segment of the market. To signal this shift in focus, Mack has also undergone a visual make over. The completely new version of the brand’s famous bulldog logo and a campaign with the slogan “Born ready” were launched in March this year.
“We sincerely believe it’s a new day for us,” said John Walsh, vice president of marketing at Mack. “It was time to make a bold statement.”