Diesel In­dus­try News

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Fol­low­ing record de­mand and strong on­go­ing or­ders in New Zealand and Aus­tralia, the Volvo Trucks Fac­tory in Wa­col Queens­land has again in­creased ca­pac­ity to help ease the pres­sure and en­sure fu­ture ca­pa­bil­ity to meet cus­tomers’ needs.

Out­go­ing vice pres­i­dent Volvo Truck Sales Aus­tralia, Mitch Pe­den – just suc­ceeded by for­mer MTD Trucks NZ na­tional sales man­ager for Volvo Trucks Clive Jones – stated: “On­go­ing de­mand in New Zealand has been a large part of the de­ci­sion to fur­ther in­crease build ca­pac­ity.

“We recog­nise though, there are a num­ber of cus­tomers who haven’t been able to wait. Ramp­ing up pro­duc­tion how­ever, is a com­plex process and it’s vi­tal that we fo­cus on re­cruit­ment, train­ing and our qual­ity pro­cesses to en­sure we main­tain the mar­ket lead­ing qual­ity stan­dards our cus­tomers ex­pect from Volvo.

“Ev­ery time we have in­creased sup­ply in 2017, de­mand has quickly out­stripped it. Al­though we are very con­fi­dent that in 2018 we will be in a po­si­tion to build more trucks than our cus­tomers, both in New Zealand and Aus­tralia, will have de­mand for.

“Volvo Trucks in New Zealand has de­liv­ered record num­bers in 2017 and de­mand for or­ders into 2018 re­main at all-time high lev­els across the Volvo FM, FMx and FH model ranges.

“At a fac­tory level, we are do­ing a lot of work to en­sure ev­ery avail­able build slot is al­lo­cated to the New Zealand team be­cause we know they have or­ders wait­ing.

“Fur­ther to this, we are work­ing hard to do a bet­ter job of pri­ori­tis­ing our build slots to have them al­lo­cated to cus­tomers in line with their par­tic­u­lar timing de­mands. We have jug­gled our build plan to max­imise our abil­ity to get ad­di­tional trucks to New Zealand and while haven’t been as many as we would like in the first half of 2018 we’ll con­tinue to fo­cus on sat­is­fy­ing as many re­quests as pos­si­ble.

“De­mand for Volvo Trucks is also at very high lev­els in Western Europe and other key Volvo mar­kets world­wide which places ad­di­tional pres­sure on all of the sup­ply chain facets. The fact that we have had very few de­liv­ery de­lays in 2017 is pleas­ing, par­tic­u­larly for our New Zealand ex­ports given this year’s vol­umes and the as­so­ci­ated chal­lenges with run­ning the busi­ness at what is es­sen­tially max­i­mum ca­pac­ity.”

Clive Jones con­firmed ex­cep­tional de­mand from Kiwi cus­tomers.

“True that the to­tal heavy truck mar­ket in New Zealand is well up on last year, but our mar­ket share in­di­cates sig­nif­i­cantly higher growth than our pre­mium seg­ment com­peti­tors. To some ex­tent we fore­cast that de­mand but the level of growth has re­mained ex­cep­tion­ally strong and that con­tin­ues to be the case as we head into the tail end of the year when de­mand tra­di­tion­ally softens. It’s al­ways dif­fi­cult to let sales go when we’re un­able to de­liver and we’ve cer­tainly faced that sit­u­a­tion a few times this year.

“On the up­side though, we are grate­ful to the sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of our cus­tomers who are pre plan­ning and mak­ing or­ders in ad­vance as well as the large num­ber of new fleets who have joined the brand this year de­spite some long lead times.

“We have seen the growth right across the range” says Jones “how­ever, our high horse­power of­fer­ing has seen the strong­est in­crease with 700 and 750hp lead­ing the charge as more and more high pro­duc­tiv­ity ve­hi­cles en­ter the na­tional fleet.

“Trip times, fuel ef­fi­ciency, driver com­fort and safety have all con­trib­uted to the de­mand.”

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