European trucks are the leaders of the pack around the world, so naturally there are going to be fights between the makers. They are all great trucks, but the large cab-over models from Mercedes and Scania have shaken Volvo’s hold of this sector with their recent additions.
These new trucks from Mercedes and Scania have long been in the shadow of Volvo and Kenworth, the token American here. Delivering a record number of units to logistics and haulage companies worldwide in 2018.
Long live the king of the road?
Volvo are clinging on to their lead, as they are still the leading provider for heavy duty haulage and logistics trucks in Europe and Oceania, notwithstanding their dominance globally.
Mercedes Benz and Scania are holding their own well against the Swedish bad boy, with Scania (another Swede) shifting significant unit numbers. Scania have actually seen an increase in sales as a direct result of firms adopting the use of trucking route software as hauliers look to reign in their running costs with more efficient and hard-wearing fleets. They have seen steady growth over the past five years, having a positive effect on brand image.
The Mercs had a cracking year back in 2017, the new range undoubtedly behind the surge in popularity. That surge translating into near double their worldwide sales as they moved into 2018.
If you think that Mercedes-Benz or Scania will be content to kick back and relax on the basis of those results, you’ve got another thing coming. Both of these behemoths want the top spot and buoyed by new and exciting model ranges they intend to fight hard to get there.
Cab-over models are the staple of European roads, yet in the US and Australia – along with Russia and parts of Asia – the conventional cab trucks have always come out on top. This is all about to change, as globally cab-over are now the top sellers by at least two to one.
These guys aren’t blind to the realities of the sector though, both understanding that a shiny new model range is all but a sweetener, and to really make waves in the heavy-duty market they will need to perform and sustained and polished attack on the likes of Volvo and Kenworth to really take that crown.
Whilst Kenworth is a valid champion to topple, the Scania and Mercedes guns are firmly pointing at the Swedish giant, Volvo. Remove this market leader and the game is anyone’s – a fact the contenders are well aware of.
Let’s be realistic here, Volvo aren’t ones for complacency. Achieving such a market position takes a shrewd business model, a solid and dependable product and a continued effort to be one step ahead of the competition.
All attempts to take down this giant will feel its full force. The advantage of global production plants, a reputation that surpasses them and a integrated route optimisation software capabilities, a well-established and fully comprehensive service network see Volvo’s products offering the full package, and that is something the others haven’t quite achieved just yet.
Lets also not pretend that such a brand would not have its own new range in the making, including that much anticipated super-bunk on their FH models.
Quite the fighters
Mercedes and Scania have intention of letting the fire in their bellies go out. Spurred on by strong sales and increased interest they have just announced B-double combination each, pushing the boundaries of truck development even further along. Maybe it really Is time for Volvo to look over their shoulder, even if it just to check how far ahead they really are.
About the author
David Bailey-Lauring is a single father of three boys and a content writer and regularly writes about sport, fitness, education and tech in the UK, USA, and Europe.