Volvo, the world's second-largest truck maker after DaimlerChrysler, has plans for a series of acquisitions to broaden its product range, according to a report on Monday.

"Given our growth target of 10%, to do that wholly organically is almost impossible. A significant part of that will come from acquisitions," chief executive Leif Johansson told the Financial Times.

The paper noted that a group of unknown investors - thought to be activist investment and hedge funds - have been buying up shares in the Swedish company and it is thought they plan to accuse Volvo management of being too conservative and urge it to reward shareholders by using its cash pile to finance a share buyback or a special dividend.

Johansson's assertion that the company is instead planning to use funds for acquisitions pre-empts this criticism and is designed to reassure the company's longer term shareholders, the paper said. "We elected to keep the powder dry for when we encounter structural changes in our industry," the CEO told the FT, adding: "We will take a look at anything within our business areas. I don't think we will add another business area but we could well look at a wider product range."

The paper said possible purchases include expanding its existing 13% interest in Nissan Diesel. It already has the right to take this to 19% within four years, but Johansson did not rule out moving above that.

The FT said Volvo Truck is also in discussions with Chinese truck maker Dongfeng about a possible alliance. "We are discussing doing something bigger in China," Johansson reportedly said. He will also consider acquiring a truck maker in Russia if the right deal can be reached, the FT added.

The Financial Times said another area of interest is likely to be construction equipment, where Volvo is the number three player after Caterpillar and Komatsu.

Johansson reportedly gave no details of the timing of these proposed plans, but agreed an expected downturn in the global economy next year would present opportunities.

He also said he would listen "professionally" to any suggestions from hedge fund and activist investors, once he knew who they were and what they wanted, the FT added.