There are some celebrations that are special in the life of any entity. The 21st, the 50th or the 25th wedding anniversary. For Volvo Australia this week marks a very significant milestone with the 50th anniversary of the start of local truck manufacturing by the famous Swedish brand.
However, if a quiet press release had not slipped into our email box earlier today, the milestone may had gone unnoticed in the media. Quite frankly we are at a bit of a loss to understand why Volvo hasn’t made more mileage out of what should be a major celebration. Certainly its rival Paccar made plenty of mileage out of its 50th a couple of years back, but it seems apart from a gathering of customers and a visit by its senior vice president, Per Erik Lindstrom, the anniversary has been kept pretty quiet.
In its media statement Volvo said that to mark the milestone there was the handover of two special trucks to key customers.
The company says it handed over the keys to a 50-year branded Volvo FH700XXL at the customer event to long time customers, Scott and Regina Harvey as well as to Nathan Stephens of Ipswich based JR Stephens, who took delivery of a 50-year themed Mack Anthem.
“We talk about the Volvo family, and you as customers are part of that family,” said Per Erik Lindstrom .
“I am super proud to be here to help celebrate 50 years of building trucks here, this country is very important to Volvo Group, and we are here to stay,” Lindstrom added.
Meanwhile president and CEO of Volvo Group Australia, Martin Merrick, said that while this was a celebration of Volvo’s success and longevity in one of the toughest trucking markets on the planet, this was also a celebration of customer success.
“Without long term customers like SRH and JR Stephens we wouldn’t be able to mark this occasion.” “Our customers challenge us to go on the journey with them. As they grow and succeed, we too grow and succeed,” said Merrick
“These companies are just a small part of the colourful tapestry of characters and stories that make up the Australian transport industry yet their contribution to our society and our economy is invaluable,” he added.
Gary Bone, Vice President Volvo Trucks Australia also offered his thoughts on the occasion saying that it’s when you dig into the history of these customers and their partnership that you reflect on the journey that they’ve taken over the years.
“Scott and Regina Harvey started SRH milk haulage back in 1996 with a single Volvo at Hexham NSW, move on 26 years over half the time that Volvo has been building trucks in Australia they’re now in three states with over 60 trucks utilising both the Mack and Volvo brands,” said Gary Bone.
“It’s been an adventure that’s for sure, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it all the way through,” said Scott Harvey of his 26 years in transport,
“But for me it’s the people and the relationships that make it work, the backup and support, especially when you’re on milk 24/ 7, has always been there for SRH without a doubt,” said Harvey.
Tom Chapman, Vice President, Mack trucks Australia also took the opportunity to offer his thoughts at the handover, saying that Mack has actually been building trucks in Australia for 59 years, and that this year marks 20 years of Mack trucks being built at the Volvo Wacol plant.
“JR Stephens have been here from the beginning, they have been with us on the journey for the entire time,” said Chapman
“They are also a logistics supplier to our factory which I think is testament to the relationship,” he added.
“Over 50 years we’ve built a relationship with Volvo Group, it’s definitely the people that make the business,” said Nathan Stephens, of JR Stephens reflected, “from the salespeople to the workshops to engineering, we really appreciate the rapport that we’ve been able to build over the years.”
Volvo Group Australia says its Wacol manufacturing plant was established in June 1972 and since that time more than 70,000 Volvo and Mack trucks have been produced at the site, with the company saying that production of battery electric trucks is also expected to commence at the Wacol plant during 2025.
Happy Birthday Volvo Australia manufacturing, your anniversary deserves more than a mere press release.