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Asia remains in sharp focus, says Volvo’s new CEO

Pat Olney underscores commitment to Asian activities in his first major press conference

VOLVO Construction Equipment’s newly appointed chief executive officer, Pat Olney (pictured), used his first major press conference to underscore the company’s continued commitment to the development of its Asian activities and customer base.

Speaking in Shanghai on 17 May, Mr Olney outlined Volvo CE’s ambitious growth strategy for China and the wider Asian region. He also used the occasion to reassure the market that there is to be no radical departure from the existing successful Asian strategy promoted under his predecessor’s leadership team, of which he was a senior figure.

It was no coincidence that China was chosen for Mr Olney’s first major speech in his new role, given the importance of the country and the wider region. Volvo CE saw revenues in the region double during 2010, making Asia their largest sales area.

‘Volvo are well positioned, both in China and the rest of Asia, to capitalize on the huge market opportunity and growth potential,’ commented Mr Olney. ‘Our dual-brand approach (Volvo and SDLG) offers a unique advantage to meet the needs of a much wider customer base.

‘This approach will be supported with products dedicated to this market, using local Chinese knowledge and leveraging an expanded Asian manufacturing and distribution footprint.

‘We will achieve this by a comprehensive programme of investments in our Asian industrial operations, a strengthening of our dealer network and an expansion of Volvo and SDLG branded products that are more closely tailored to the specific needs of customers in this region.’

Volvo CE have maintained a heavy investment commitment in recent years. The company recently announced the introduction of its new F-Series articulated haulers, G-Series wheel loaders and a China localized EC200B crawler excavator. These come on top of a four-model range of China-specific excavators, made and marketed by Volvo’s joint-venture partner in China, Lingong, under the SDLG brand.

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