SAO PAULO – Volvo do Brasil Veiculos Ltd. managed to reduce its costs 10% in 2001 as it generated $490 million in revenues, a 9.2% jump over like-2000.

Volvo do Brasil President Peter Karlsten says the auto maker has been "trying to concentrate efforts on our core business – producing trucks and buses."

The company was so successful last year that it distributed its largest-ever profit sharing bonus to its workers – which equaled 1.5 to three times the average worker's salary.

The auto maker has created a logistics program called SAMBA, or South American Material Supply Best Approach, which focuses on cost reduction in a number of areas, including factory inventory.