Instead of cutting costs during the economic downturn, Volvo’s construction equipment unit has invested heavily in its global manufacturing and distribution networks and plowed money into research and development in the past few years. The expenditures are starting to pay off, says Pat Olney, chief executive and president of Volvo Construction Equipment North America. First quarter revenues were a record for the Shippensburg, Pa.-based arm of the Swedish conglomerate—up 111% over the same period for 2011. Globally, Volvo CE showed a 17% year-over-year gain, reporting an 11.8% operating margin on $2.5 billion in revenue.
The company is also capturing market share, after expanding capacity in Russia, China, India and Brazil, Olney told journalists at a May 16-18 event the company sponsored during a stopover in Miami by the six sailboats competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, a round-the-world competition that began in Alicante, Spain, in November and will conclude in July in Galway, Ireland.