Jump to content

Volvo Trucks President Touts Brand's Commitment to the Future


kscarbel2
 Share

Recommended Posts

Jack Roberts, Heavy Duty Trucking (HDT)  /  September 12, 2019

Dublin, Virginia — At the Technology Summit at the Volvo Customer Center in Dublin, Virginia, Volvo Trucks unveiled a host of new and upgraded safety systems as well as a brand-new Class 8 electric VNR tractor.

In his opening remarks to journalists attending the Volvo Trucks North America Technology Summit, Roger Alm, president of Volvo Trucks said, “Other truck companies change with the times. Volvo is committed to changing the times.”

And looking at the wide array of diverse new products, systems, technologies and upgrades the Swedish truck OEM unveiled during the course of the day it would be hard to argue with him. New Volvo product offerings detailed included a second-generation turbo-compound diesel engine, a new steering assistance system, and upgrades to Volvo’s advanced active safety systems as well as a first-look at an all-new, Class 8 VNR battery-electric tractor.

The day began, however, with business news and the announcement of a major investment in Volvo’s North American manufacturing facilities and processes.

“We are moving into new technology today. We will start serial production of electric trucks next year,” Alm said. “But the internal combustion engine will be the dominate power source in trucking for many years to come. But we are investing in our product portfolio and bringing new technology to market all the time.”

Before a team of Volvo engineers and designers began briefing on the new products being unveiled, however, Alm and Peter Voorhoeve briefed reporters on the state of the North American truck market as seen by Volvo analysts, as well as significant investments in both dealerships and manufacturing facilities.

Alm said that if current build rates hold up, he expects to see a total of 311,000 new Class 8 trucks roll onto North American highways this year. That number is a bit lower than the company’s initial estimate of 325,000 units — which Alm said was a natural consequence of the economy slowing down somewhat.

Still, Voorhoeve noted that 2019 was shaping up to be a “very good year,” and added that while the economy did indeed seem to be cooling off somewhat, this was to be expected given the red-hot production numbers the industry has seen over the past couple of years.

Volvo currently has North American market share of 9.6% — a figure lower than the 10% market share the company posted in 2018. Voorhoeve said this was due to delivery issues that hobbled the company in early 2019 — but that he expected to make up lost ground and finish the year at 10% once again.

“In some ways, Volvo is still a new brand in North America,” Voorheve noted, “We’ve been here since 1982.” The success of any truck brand in North America — which remains Volvo’s largest market globally, depends on having a solid dealer network, which Voorheve said Volvo has made a priority from its earliest days in the United States and Canada. To date, he noted, Volvo has invested $619 million in its dealership network, which has grown to 435 locations since 2010, along with a whopping 296% increase in Volvo Master Technicians and a 64% increase in service bays.

Building on those successes, Voorhoeve announced that Volvo will invest another $400 million in its New River Valley truck plant in Dublin, where all Volvo trucks sold in North America are built.

“The outstanding product line currently produced at NRV has strongly positioned Volvo Trucks for the future,” Voorhoeve said. “This investment is another sign of our confidence in that future, and will help us prepare for even more exciting products – powered by both diesel and electric drivetrains – in the coming years.”

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam joined company and local officials to announce the expansion, which will be eligible for a Virginia Major Employment and Investment grant of up to $16.5 million and other incentives. Virginia’s Pulaski County will support the project by granting Volvo 222 acres of adjacent property to expand the campus, and providing $500,000 toward site improvements. In addition to its financial investment, Volvo announced plans to create 777 new jobs at the facility over the next six years.

Major components of the investment include a new 350,000-square-foot building that will ultimately house truck cab welding operations; an expansion of the existing plant to allow for further improvements to the facility’s paint operations and overall material/production flow; and a variety of equipment upgrades, including installation of several state-of-the-art dynamometers for vehicle testing.

“This investment will give our employees the tools they need to continue providing our customers the highest quality products,” said Franky Marchand, Vice President and General Manager of the NRV plant. “We’re very grateful to the Commonwealth of Virginia, Pulaski County, and the citizens in this community for their continued support of our business and our people. Creating more value-added processes through these investments is good for our employees, our plant and our region.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Volvo eyes growth in the U.S., the company’s ‘second home market’

Jason Cannon, Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ)  /  September 12, 2019

Volvo Trucks is setting its sights on market share growth in the U.S., a market company President Roger Alm calls Volvo’s “second home market.”

Through its 2,100 dealers and service points in more than 130 counties, Volvo Trucks delivered more than 127,000 units last year globally, and has more than 1.2 million trucks on the road sold within the last decade.

“That is driving a good service business for us and our dealers,” Alm says.

Volvo market share climbed 2% in North America from 2017 to 2018. As of July, Volvo had 10% market share in North America and 10.9% in the U.S. through August. The U.S. is Volvo’s largest market with 26,477 trucks delivered last year, more than twice the number delivered in its second largest market – Brazil.

TEC Equipment’s Fontana, Calif., dealership is the largest Volvo dealership in the world and features 98 service bays.

“We are making major investments in serving our customers the best way,” Alm said. “If we are investing, it should have an impact on our customer.”

Since Volvo Introduced its VNR and refreshed VNL in 2017, truck sales have soared industrywide. A forecast of 325,000 trucks are set to be sold this year in North America, up from 311,000 the year before.

Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America, said strong style enhancements to Volvo’s two flagship on-highway trucks, coupled with driver comfort offerings, has brought new opportunities for growth.

“Transporters are using Volvos to attract drivers,” Voorhoeve said, noting he sees more fleets using Volvo trucks in driver recruitment marketing.

In the last 10 years, Volvo has invested $619 million in its 435 U.S. dealership network. Service bay capacity is up 64% and its master technician population has soared nearly 300%.

“I think we have a leading and competitive dealer network,” Voorhoeve said.

Volvo is also investing $400 million in its manufacturing facility in Virginia over the next 6 years – the site that manufactures all the Volvo trucks sold in North America. The upgrades include expansion of the industrial footprint and installation of a variety of state-of-the-art equipment that will improve plant efficiency and deliver even higher product quality for customers.

Pulaski County, Va., will support the project by granting Volvo 222 acres of adjacent property to expand the campus, and provide $500,000 toward site improvements. In addition to its financial investment, Volvo announced plans to create 777 new jobs at the facility over the next six years.

Major components of the investment include a new 350,000-square-foot building that will ultimately house truck cab welding operations; an expansion of the existing plant to allow for further improvements to the facility’s paint operations and overall material/production flow; and a variety of equipment upgrades, including installation of several state-of-the-art dynamometers for vehicle testing.

.

Photo 2.jpg

Photo 3.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...