European commercial vehicle manufacturers cautiously optimistic
‘We will see better sales and earnings this year than in 2009. The recovery in demand that we saw in Asia and South America at the end of last year is now becoming more and more visible also in Europe,' said Leif Johansson, chairman of the Commercial Vehicle Board of ACEA and president and CEO of Volvo Group, at the ACEA press conference at the IAA.
Although the crisis hit hard, the ACEA has highlighted the great resilience shown by the European manufacturers during the extraordinary economic downturn. Despite sales volumes being cut by 50 to 80% over the course of 2009, investments in R&D were to large extent sustained. It added that all manufacturers are working hard to prepare themselves for the Euro 6 emission standards coming into force soon and they have made further progress in the fields of fuel efficiency, alternative drivetrains, renewable fuels and energies.
‘The crisis has certainly reinforced the need to put a comprehensive industrial policy and a supportive policy environment higher on the agenda of European policy makers’, said Mr Johansson. ‘Europe has a strong R&D and manufacturing base – our commercial vehicle industry is a good example – and the EU institutions must make efforts to strengthen its industries in order to ensure future economic growth and prosperity.’