Volvo CE has announced an overall improvement in third quarter of this year, with sales, orders and machine deliveries all on the up after rising customer sentiment in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak saw demand for construction equipment and services recover strongly in the quarter.
A statement from Volvo said net order intake in the third quarter increased by 40% compared with the same quarter in 2019. Deliveries increased by 20%, to 19,774 machines in the third quarter, mainly driven by higher sales in China. While net sales in the third quarter decreased by 2%, when adjusted for currency movements they were actually up 6% in the period.
According to Volvo, most markets recovered well from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in the third quarter, with machine utilisation at the end of the period at almost 2019 levels. “That said, the ongoing uncertainty created by the pandemic weighed on the European market, which up to the end of August was down by 19%,” said the company.
The North American market was also down by 19% for Volvo CE, while South America was up 11% from 2019 levels, though at very low levels in 2019. Asia excluding China was down 13%, while the Chinese market recovered strongly from the impact of the pandemic, driven by government stimulus measures with demand rising 22% in the period.
Melker Jernberg, president, Volvo CE, said: “After the sharp Covid-19 triggered downturn of Q2 we saw construction activity gradually improve across most markets in the third quarter. Demand was particularly strong in China, the world’s biggest market, and here we continued to grow our market share. With continuing uncertainty due to the ongoing spread of the pandemic, we will maintain a tight focus on cost control, and prioritise the health and safety of colleagues, customers and business partners.”
In line with the company’s policy of concentrating on core product groups, Volvo CE divested its North American Blaw-Knox paver range during the third quarter. It also announced that the first deliveries of its all-electric compact machines would begin in UK, France and Germany in the coming weeks.