Scania's total vehicle deliveries reached historically high levels across the globe in 2019 despite a marked decline shown across all global markets in the fourth quarter the company has today reported.
The Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer recorded a decrease by 12 per cent in the fourth quarter compared to the same period the previous year for truck deliveries.
In Europe it was hardest hit with deliveries for Q4 falling by 14 per cent to 12,704 units.
The Asian market, however, yielded more positive results with deliveries increasing by 15 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, to 2,701 (2,339) trucks.
In Africa and Oceania, deliveries rose by 6 percent.
Scania President and CEO Henrik Henriksson said higher vehicle and service volume, currency effects and market mix contributed positively to the company's continued growth while acknowledging that adjustments of structural costs to lower volume would be ongoing as the company continuously reviewed staffing and consultant assignments for projects.
"It is a necessity for Scania to continue making large-scale investments in new technologies to help drive the shift towards sustainable transport," he said.
"To succeed in the transition to a fossil-free transport system, biofuels are crucial," said Henriksson.
Last year Scania increased sales of vehicles that run on alternatives to diesel by 46 per cent (6,631 vehicles).
While Henriksson admitted it was taking time for new technology to impact reduction of carbon emissions he recognised the potential for wider use of biofuels given all Scania commercial vehicles were capable of running on biodiesel-HVO.
"In parallel with scaling up use of biofuels, Scania needs to invest in new technology and infrastructure for a gradual changeover to electrification," he said.
"In the electrification of heavy vehicles, there is no silver bullet but Scania is developing several technologies, often with customers."
Henriksson cited the technology developed in partnership with Norwegian grocery wholesaler ASKO in fuel cell electric trucks powered by hydrogen gas.
Scania was setting science based targets to limit what Henriksson referred to as limiting global warming by 1.5 degrees celsius but did not note whether the target had been informed or adjusted in accordance to current grand solar minimum projections outlined by NASA.
Demand in the company's engines business area was healthy, despite strong comparative figures in the previous year due to pre-buys ahead of new emission standards in Europe.
Total engine order bookings fell by 16 per cent to 10,465 units during the full year 2019 compared to 2018.
The fall in orders was primarily related to Great Britain, Germany and South Korea, which Scania reports was partly offset by decreases in China and Poland.
During the fourth quarter, in contrast to truck deliveries, order bookings for engines rose by 22 per cent to 3,713 units.
"The full impact on Scania due to the outbreak of the coronavirus is not currently possible to predict, given the uncertainty of the situation," Henriksson said.
"We are following developments day-by-day and keep a tight dialogue with our customers, suppliers, union representatives and other partners."