AB Volvo (STO:VOLV-A), which released its February sales results on Wednesday, said it shipped 1,400 fewer trucks than it did in the same month last year, a 17 percent decline, and deliveries fell sharply in Western Europe, the Swedish company's biggest market, at 26 percent.
"Truck customers in general were uncertain of the development of the European economy and thus delayed their decision to invest in new trucks," the company said.
The global decline in Volvo's sales was most pronounced in North America, which was down 40 percent, a slowdown that began in the latter part of 2012.
However, the company's sales numbers are rising in one of the global economy's more robust markets, South America -- particularly Brazil -- where Volvo's year-to-date truck deliveries are up 23 percent over what they reached by early 2012.
The Brazilian government's business incentives in recent months are boosting demand.
"In Brazil, infrastructure investments continue to positively impact the overall market and deliveries of Volvo trucks," the company said Wednesday.
The manufacturer, No. 2 behind Germany's Daimler (ETR: DAI), sells trucks under subsidiary brands as well as its own. After disappointing figures late last year, it slashed inventories and idled shifts at many of its factories. Meanwhile, it has a joint venture pending in China that is waiting on approval from Chinese authorities.