Au­to­mo­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing ‘not dead’

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

Voorho­eve says Volvo’s pro­duc­tion mile­stone is a mark of lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing suc­cess

pres­i­dent and CEO Peter Voorho­eve high­lights the suc­cess of the Group’s Bris­bane-based Wa­col fac­tory with the an­nounce­ment of its 60,000th lo­cally made truck.

Voorho­eve says Volvo’s pro­duc­tion mile­stone demon­strates that au­to­mo­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing is alive in Australia de­spite clo­sures of car man­u­fac­tur­ing units here.

The pro­duc­tion mile­stone co­in­cides with Volvo Group re­ceiv­ing the Aus­tralian Made Cam­paign cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to carry the iconic green-and-gold ‘Aus­tralian Made’ logo.

Volvo Group Australia is now the only truck man­u­fac­turer in Australia to have been awarded this cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“We’re de­lighted that Volvo Group Australia has joined the cam­paign,” Aus­tralian Made CEO Ian Har­ri­son says.

“It re­flects their com­mit­ment to pro­mot­ing lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing, both in its di­rect pro­duc­tion op­er­a­tions but also through their sup­port of the lo­cal au­to­mo­tive com­po­nents’ in­dus­try.”

Voorho­eve also spoke about the unique chal­lenges of the Aus­tralian truck mar­ket.

“Our trucks work harder than any­where else in the world. Our loads are heav­ier, the cli­mate is hot and dusty, and the dis­tances are greater,” he says.

“But our Aus­tralian en­gi­neers lever­age the glob­ally proven ve­hi­cle plat­forms and lat­est in­no­va­tions to de­sign trucks that are tai­lored for the unique Aus­tralian con­di­tions. It’s a very com­pet­i­tive mar­ket here in Australia, but build­ing trucks lo­cally means we can meet and ex­ceed the de­mands of cus­tomers in this com­pet­i­tive mar­ket, by build­ing them a truck that is ex­actly to their spec­i­fi­ca­tion.”

Voorho­eve de­tailed the Group’s cur­rent and fu­ture in­vest­ment plans for its Aus­tralian fa­cil­i­ties.

“We are com­mit­ted to man­u­fac­tur­ing trucks in Australia and have in­vested over $ 27m in the pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity alone in the last six years, and will in­vest a fur­ther $ 3.7m in up­grad­ing our chas­sis treat­ment and cab paint process,” he says.

“We’re talk­ing about a lot of money, which is a re­flec­tion of how con­fi­dent we are in lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing.

“We are also in­vest­ing con­sid­er­ably, to­gether with our pri­vate part­ners, in our deal­er­ships and cus­tomer ser­vice net­work.”

Voorho­eve ex­plained that, be­tween the Volvo Group and pri­vate part­ners, ap­prox­i­mately $160m worth of in­vest­ment will have been made be­tween 2014 and 2018 in its deal­er­ship and ser­vice net­work.

He said the in­vest­ment amounts are con­sid­er­able be­cause truck­ing is big busi­ness in Australia.

“Our trucks work harder than any­where else in the world. Our loads are heav­ier, the cli­mate is hot and dusty, and the dis­tances are greater”

Peter Voorho­eve

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