STOCKHOLM -- Global No. 2 truckmaker AB Volvo's January to July truck deliveries rose 22 percent, an acceleration stimulated by reviving North American demand, and it forecast sales would remain strong in 2004.
Total deliveries in the January to July period were 105,423 units compared with 86,090 units in January to July 2003, the company said Thursday.
Volvo reported that deliveries from its U.S. Mack brand rose 26 percent while those from Renault Trucks were up 13 percent. Deliveries from Volvo Trucks increased 29 percent during the period.
"The gains in deliveries continue to reflect recent strength in the heavy-duty truck market in North America," Volvo said in a statement.
"Although demand for new trucks in North America has cooled somewhat from the fast pace seen earlier in the year, orders and retail sales are still expected to be well above performance in 2003 through the remainder of 2004."
Volvo said that during the past 12 months order bookings for the group's truck operations were 42 percent higher compared with the preceding year.
The group has other operations, including an aerospace unit.
"Orders were up 24 percent in Europe while the increase in North America was 88 percent," the company said.
The Volvo group includes the Renault and Mack brands as well as vehicles sold under its own name. It has a market share of about 20 percent in North America.
Volvo bought France's Renault VI and Mack in the United States in 2001.
Last month Volvo trounced profit and sales forecasts for the second quarter in a row and raised its estimate for European truck sales this year.
Citing strong demand in all its business areas as global economic growth improves, Volvo raised its forecast for overall truck sales in Europe for the year to 250,000 trucks from around 230,000.
Volvo held its forecast for truck sales in North America at between 230,000 and 240,000 units for 2004.