Automotive manufacturing ‘not dead’
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”