Volvo looks east

By Steve Skinner20 April 2010

Olof Persson, president of Volvo Group.

Olof Persson, president of Volvo Group.

Speaking at the Bauma exhibition, Volvo president Olof Persson said that Volvo is to expand its excavator line in China with a machine designed specifically for the internal market. The company will also open a technical centre in Jinan, China in 2012.

"We saw a -39% fall in sales across international markets in 2009, although I would say the global economy is now improving," said Mr Persson. "The Chinese market in particular has strengthened considerably and we expect further growth there and throughout Asia.

"In opening the technical centre, we will be able to combine local knowledge with our global operation to enhance our Number 4 position in the Chinese construction equipment market."

As well as growth in Asia, Mr Persson said the company would concentrate through 2010 on maintaining its market position in the US and Europe as well as strengthening its position in developing markets such as Brazil, Russia and India.

"As well as affirming our market position in 2010, Volvo will also focus on the development and roll-out of Tier 4 compliant equipment," said Mr Persson. "We are on track with a good solution and we have already conducted over 100000 hours of testing without any issues," he said.

Beyond diesel engines, Mr Persson confirmed that the company is working on hybrid technology together with the Volvo Group, although at this stage it remains an area that is more for monitoring and research and development rather than production. "Hybrid technology is moving all the time, so we are committed to developing this type of technology rather than marketing it," he said.

Mr Persson also used the Bauma exhibition to launch Volvo's 'operator safety vest' campaign for 2010. "Following the success of the 'blue helmet' safety campaign in 2004, we will issue thousands of safety vests during the coming year to help improve worker safety," he said.

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