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Volvo already sees signs of pre-buy activity as truck market poised to strengthen – Truck News

Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) is already seeing signs of a pre-buy, particularly among private fleets, as costly EPA27 emissions standards that will add about US$20,000 to the cost of a Class 8 truck loom.

But the truck market this year is slightly lagging expectations, said Magnus Koeck, vice-president of strategy, marketing and brand management with VTNA during a market update at the company’s Customer Center June 20.

Magnus Koeck
Magnus Koeck gives a market update at Volvo’s customer center in Virginia. (Photo: Krystyna Shchedrina)

Volvo had anticipated overall Canada/U.S. Class 8 orders of 270,000 units, but it’s tracking slightly below expectations and will likely total somewhere in the 260s.

“Then, up from there,” predicted Koeck, adding the U.S. election results may impact order activity later in the year. “The market will come back, make no mistake about that.”

Volvo’s share of the market this year is 13.7% in Canada, above its 10.8% Canada/U.S. combined market share. That represents growth in both Canada and North America, and the company has yet to begin delivering the all-new VNL it introduced earlier this year. Deliveries of those trucks will begin in the fourth quarter and Volvo is currently hosting some 1,800 dealers, sales reps and customers at its Customer Center to showcase the new truck.

“The timing is great for the new VNL,” said Koeck. “When the market comes back we will be in full swing production with these new models.”

Volvo has invested US$400 million into its New River Valley plant, and announced plans to add a second plant in Mexico – operational in 2026 – to meet what it anticipates will be heavy demand for the new vehicle.

Koeck feels the trucking market has bottomed, with for-hire fleets achieving their worst performance in a decade in the second quarter of this year.

“The good thing is, not it’s coming back,” said Koeck. He anticipates a “massive pre-buy effect” in 2026, with orders ramping up through 2025, and warns fleets to get orders in early if they want to assure availability prior to 2027.

“If you wake up at the end of 2025 and believe you will have vehicles ready to go in February 2026, forget it,” he warned.

Volvo has also been successful in the emerging e-mobility market, commanding a 43.8% market share in Class 8 electric trucks. However, Koeck acknowledged that total market still represents just 1,400 vehicles.

But it continues to expand its network of EV-certified dealers, which now total 62 in the U.S. and Canada, with dealers in B.C., Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec having gone through the process.

Also on the e-mobility front, Volvo secured the battery production assets of Proterra in the U.S. “We know we need to have localized battery production in the U.S.,” reasoned Koeck.


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