Stick one hand in a bucket of liquid nitrogen and barbecue the other. On average, you should feel all right. Or you could just ask Volvo
First the hot: European truckers can't get enough Renault and Volvo trucks, so the company is working on new manufacturing plants to meet the demand. Margins in Europe, South America, and "large parts of Asia" are fat because those are sellers' markets right now.
Then the cold: The North American market is suffering from the Mack unit's labor union negotiations, a weakening dollar that shaves value off of the Swedish company's transatlantic profits, and low demand for new trucks with the new and tighter truck emissions regulations. Compliant engines for heavy-duty trucks cost on the order of $7,000 more than the old-standard parts did.
The labor situation is essentially the same thing that automakers Ford
So is Volvo feeling OK between these extremes? Yes indeed. While this quarter's earnings came in a bit lower than hoped for by the Swedish analyst flock, sales were a positive surprise and the order book is full. And management thinks the North American weakness is more than balanced by strength in Asia and Eastern Europe, so the future looks better than lukewarm.
Who says it's a small world? To find the best companies to invest in wherever they do business, join Bill Mann and his team at Global Gains.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund is a Volvo shareholder but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure is the best thing since hot and cold running water.
More from The Motley Fool
Will 2018 Be Canadian Solar Inc.'s Best Year Yet?
Canadian Solar's future is bright, but it may not be public long enough to show its true potential.
What Would Happen if Your Car Could Read Your Mind?
If it’s up to Nissan, we may soon find out.
How Axon Enterprise Can Become a Home Run Stock in 2018
If the taser and body camera company's management can get its finances in sync with its growth, this laggard could rapidly become a winning stock for investors.