AB Volvo, the world’s second largest truck maker, expects its sales to increase this year at least in line with market growth in Europe and North America, the chief executive of the group’s trucks unit said.


According to Reuters, Volvo Trucks had a 15.6% market share in Europe in February, up from 15.2% in 2003, and 10.7% of the North American market, up from 9.6% last year, Volvo Trucks CEO Jorma Halonen told a briefing in China for financial market investors, analysts and the media.


“We have clearly increased our market shares,” he reportedly said.


Asked by Reuters on the sidelines of the briefing if he expected Volvo’s truck sales this year to be at least in line with market growth in Europe and North America, Halonen said: “Yes, I think so.”


The news agency noted that, earlier this week, Volvo raised its forecast for 2004 growth in key markets and said the market for trucks in North America, Volvo’s second biggest market after Europe, could grow as much as 20%, more than the 10 to 15% expected earlier in the year.


Volvo also reportedly said it saw demand in Europe rising 5% to 6% this year, against a February forecast of 2% to 5%.