Volvo Trucks is king of the road in Peru
Volvo trucks can be seen absolutely everywhere in Peru, from the highways to the mines to the souvenir stalls. Peru has swiftly established itself as one of Volvo Trucks’ most important markets and more Volvo FMX trucks are sold here than anywhere else in the world.
The Cerro Verde open-cast mine in southern Peru is the second largest mine in the country, where copper and molybdenum are mined. “Volvo trucks are really popular. The mine has 70 Volvo FMX trucks in its fleet and many other companies that work here also use Volvo vehicles,” says Jacob Morales, responsible for the mining company’s workshops.
Volvo Trucks is the undisputed image leader in Peru, one of the world’s most rapidly expanding economies. Between 2008 and 2012, annual growth was 6.5 per cent, although it fell slightly. What transformed Peru into a miracle economy virtually over night, after many years of weak growth, hyperinflation and poverty, was the global market price of minerals. During the 2000s, the demand from countries like China triggered a mining boom in Peru, one of the world’s largest exporters of copper, gold, silver, lead and tin.
As far as Volvo Trucks is concerned, this has meant that sales have increased almost ten-fold in the space of a decade.
In 2013, for the first time, more Volvo FMX trucks were sold here than anywhere else in the world, 1189 FMX were produced for the Peruvian market.
In spite of this, the competition is razor sharp, as there are some 40 truck brands in the country. “I have never heard of any other market with this number, so it’s quite unique,” says Marcus Hörberg, Managing Director Volvo Perú. Many companies are naturally attracted by a market experiencing such rapid growth, but Volvo Trucks has always played in a league of its own in Peru.
Up in the Andes, the words “Volvo” and “truck” are used synonymously, in the same way as the word “jeep” has come to mean both a car type and a brand. Volvo trucks have almost become part of the Peruvian identity. On the tourist market, the most popular souvenirs are beautiful textiles, pipes of pan, llama soft toys – and small, colourful, ceramic Volvo trucks.
“Companies prefer to drive Volvo trucks, as they symbolise quality,” explains Esther Gallegos, who manages the Servicentro Transporte Espinar fuel transport company. She has chosen to use nothing but Volvo trucks, 16 in total. “The companies that have a choice choose Volvo trucks, not least because it is then much easier to recruit drivers. In my experience, in any case, they don’t want to drive other brands,” she says.
The message is the same at Transportes Teofilo Nuñez in Arequipa, 30 kilometres from Cerro Verde. This company is one of the largest when it comes to renting construction equipment and trucks to the mining industry, for example. At the present time, it has 30 Volvo FMs and 40 Volvo FMXs. However, Elsa and Teofilo Nuñez started out with just one truck, which Teofilo Nuñez drove.
“We quickly realised that, if we wanted to succeed, we needed to create a reputation for always offering the highest possible quality. So it was important to have Volvo trucks and nothing but Volvo trucks,” says Elsa Zeballos de Nuñez.