Volvo Group, the Swedish manufacturer of buses, trucks and construction equipment, yesterday launched the first heavy-duty truck model _ Quester _ made at its assembly plant on Bang Na-Trat Road to capitalise on the growing Asean market.
Mr Rosenberg (second from left) and UD Trucks executives at the briefing Monday.
"Quester is the first UD truck developed specially for growth markets, while Volvo's heavy-duty trucks stay focused on the premium segment," said Joachim Rosenberg, the group's executive vice-president.
UD Trucks was known as Nissan Diesel before it became part of Volvo in 2007.
Volvo, the sole distributor of Volvo and UD trucks, recently announced a 5-billion-baht investment plan including 3 billion for expanding sales and service outlets.
The rest will be used to expand annual production capacity to 4,500 Volvo trucks and 20,000 UD trucks.
Thailand is the global production base for Volvo and UD trucks for export, especially those destined for Asean, Africa and the Middle East where demand in each market is rising.
Volvo aims to export UD trucks to Malaysia and Indonesia in the fourth quarter of this year and the Philippines in the first quarter of 2014.
According to Mr Rosenberg, demand for heavy-duty trucks in Asia-Pacific is now around 1 million units a year, mostly dominated by Japanese brands.
Last year, 21,348 UD trucks were delivered worldwide, down from 22,753 in 2011.
Of these, 44% were sold in Japan, 28% in Southeast Asia, 17% in Africa, 4% in Oceania, 2% in North America, 1% in South America and 5% in other Asian markets. Only Southeast Asia saw an increase in sales to 5,946 in 2012, up 5% from 5,687 units in 2011.
In Thailand, Volvo projects demand for heavy-duty trucks at about 20,000 units annually.
The group sold last year 803 Volvo trucks and 137 UD buses and trucks.
Jacques Michel, president of UD Trucks (Thailand), said the company has year-to-date sales of 340 units for UD trucks and 530 for Volvo buses and trucks.
Mr Rosenberg said Volvo plans to construct plants for UD heavy-duty trucks in India with a 100%-owned subsidiary and in China via a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Corporation over the next two years.
About the author
- Writer: Piyachart Maikaew
Position: Business Reporter