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Volvo Boasts 2006 Russian Sales by 83 per cent.

Volvo increased its Russian sales by 83 per cent, to record figures of 2,436 units during 2006. The Russian Federation is now the largest buyer of Volvo products in the fast-growing Central and Eastern European region, with Poland in second place with 2,079 unit sales of Volvo trucks in 2006, ranks second. With the addition of second hand vehicles exported from Europe, the company's Russian distributor - ZAO Volvo Vostok - estimates that there are now 30,000 Volvo trucks registered within the country.

Asia Motor Works to Compete on Price

Volvo's only 49 tonne competitor in India - Asia Motor Works - is to take the fight to the Swedes on price. Following a Supreme Court ruling in 2005, which finally put an end to overloading - or has certainly reduced any defence against the same - the 49 tonne market is potentially a high growth one.AMW's 49-tonne tractor-trailer uses a ZF 9-speed gearbox, a Cummins 235hp engine, Meritor axles and Valeo clutch. Its gross combination weight allows a 36 tonne payload.

Mid America: A Blogger Intrudes on an Industry's Grief

So that's it for Mid America for another year. Next stop on the show trail is the RAI Show in Amsterdam and the Tokyo show, both of which - in a fit of genius on the part of the respective organisers - are slated to take place simultaneously.But back to MATS, and an initial reaction. Miserable. We rather felt like a gatecrasher at a bedside vigil.

Kenworth Reduces Plant Capacity

Some incongruity here.Just as Bob Christensen, General Manager of Kenworth was bigging up the Chillicothe plant to the assembled media, so too was he reducing its size.Interesting mathematical point this. Kenworth is confident about the US market, and says - we paraphrase - that its people are working hard to fulfill the order book. Having already cut capacity, it's not really suprising that utilisation remains high. Or is it?Smoke and mirrors.

Eaton Redefines SCR

We've just had a gander at Eaton's stand, and there, stuck to a wall is a poster describing the Eaton Aftertreatment System. This is a SCR solution - almost. It combines a fuel dosing unit, fuel reformer catalyst, a LNT catalyst, and a SCR catalyst in series to scrub NOx from the system. Hence, unlike the SCR systems in use today that use urea as a means of carrying the ammonia needed to catalyze the NOx, Eaton's system generates its own stuff on-board.

US Market to Drop by 75 Per Cent?

No names here, but we've just been talking to a chap who works at a fairly high level for one of the Tier 1 suppliers to the US truck business. Bear in mind that the conversation took place before the first bottle of the day, and so he was coherent and I was listening.His view of the Class 8 market for 2007? A drop off of between 75 and 80 per cent. the word 'cliff' was used - in fact a number of words were used, few of which can be repeated here. Forty per cent is bad enough, but 75? That is carnage on a grand scale, and a market collapse that will inevitably impact upon Europe as well.

Caterpillar: ACERT woes.

Alarming news reaches us from Caterpillar.Or to be more exact, and bearing in mind that it is a company well blessed with lawyers, we should say that alarming rumours reach us from Caterpillar. It seems that ACERT is going rather horribly wrong.The problem is thus. The flamethrower device that is meant to burn the soot out of the engine isn't throwing any flames. Basically - and this is again, merely rumour - the initiator or spark plug is failing to function, meaning that a stream of unburnt diesel is running around the system. The result is a clogged engine and MPG of around one.Oh dear.

Navistar: 30 Minutes Better Spent Elsewhere.

In a fit of enthusiasm, we head off to the Navistar press conference, it offering - to our way of thinking - a bit of potential for some larks. Here after all is a company that has - in the last few weeks - been hoofed off the NYSE as a result of not being able to employ an accountant capable of counting to three, and has managed to get a judge to find against it in terms of a non-paying customer - namely Ford. A class act all round.So we were rather looking forwards to the any questions bit with Dan Utsian. But he's not here - he's in Chicago - apparently delayed by strong winds.