Friday, August 29, 2008

Volvo Group Truck Sales Up 8 Percent for Year

Volvo Group has announced the July, 2008, sales figures for its four truck brands, which include Volvo, Nissan Diesel, Renault, and Mack.

Although the group’s consolidated North American sales for July, 2008, dropped by two percent compared to July, 2007, its cumulative year-to-date sales are running eight percent higher than last year.

The total units of all four truck brands sold in North America during July dropped from 2,079 last July to 2,044 for the same month this year, while year-to-date unit sales grew from 16,643 in 2007 to 17,983 so far this year.

The strongest results came from Volvo brand trucks, whose North American sales for July rose 11 percent over last year, and whose year-to-date sales are up 17 percent. Volvo says it sold 1,083 trucks in July and 9,212 total so far in 2008.

Although Nissan Diesel’s North American sales plummeted by 38 percent in July, the brand’s year-to-date sales sit 22 percent ahead of the same time in 2007. Nissan Diesel sold 127 units in July, and has sold a total of 1,101 year-to-date.

Renault’s North American sales for July edged down four percent compared to the same month last year, but its year-to-date sales are up 18 percent. Its July sales volume was 44 units, and its year-to-date sales stand at 329.

The only brand in the Volvo family whose North American sales dropped both for the month and year to date was Mack, which was down seven percent and three percent, respectively. It sold 790 units during July, and has sold 7,341 trucks so far this year.

All-New Mazda6 Production Begins

Mazda announced that a Job One ceremony was held at AutoAlliance International Inc. in Flat Rock, Michigan to celebrate the first United States production of the North American all-new Mazda6.

The all-new Mazda6 inherits and further evolves the sporty styling and superb driving performance of the first generation Mazda6. The North American model features a larger body and greater engine displacement to meet the particular demands of the North American market with handling and comfort being optimized for North American road conditions. Two spirited engines will be available: the newly developed 2.5-liter I-4 that drives the European and Japanese versions of the all-new Mazda6 and –for extra performance– the 3.7-liter V6 that powers the Mazda CX-9, the 2008 North American Truck of the Year.

Speaking at the ceremony, AutoAlliance International’s president and CEO, Gary A. Roe said, “The North American all-new Mazda6 has a special significance for us because it was developed exclusively to meet the needs of the North American market and is being built right here at AAI. Our dedication to build quality cars will ensure the Mazda6 succeeds amid a very challenging sales environment.

James J. O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations added, “The midsize sedan segment is crowded with many of the best vehicles from Asia, Europe, and the US. Even under these circumstances, we are confident the North American all-new Mazda6 will be highly competitive.

Mazda’s president and CEO, Hisakazu Imaki, remarked, “It is an honor to be here at AutoAlliance International to celebrate the North American all-new Mazda6 production kickoff. AutoAlliance International symbolizes the strong cooperative relationship that has benefited both Mazda and Ford for many years. Going forward, we will continue to provide our customers with the highest quality products in order to further strengthen Mazda’s presence in North America. This will bring us closer to achieving the targets of our mid-term Mazda Advancement Plan