While Volvo Bus is celebrating its 50th anniversary in Australia this year it has taken the time to reflect on a long standing partnership with global parts and transmission supplier ZF.
According to Volvo Bus not long after establishing operations in Australia in 1971, it says it prioritised finding trusted and reliable industry partners to support its operations and customer success and ZF became one of its earliest partners.
ZF was established in Friedrichshafen in Germany in 1915, 12 years before Volvo was born as a brand in the Swedish city of Gothenburg in 1927. Volvo says ZF and it both share European heritages and have maintained similar visions since the beginning, in creating innovative, safe and reliable transport solutions.
ZF was originally established to provide transmissions for Germany’s giant Zeppelin airships and has over the years became an agile manufacturer expanding its production across parts for a range of automotive vehicles and for industrial, marine and aviation applications.
Although ZF officially opened its first office in Australia in 1987, VBA and ZF’s partnership dates back to the beginning of Volvo’s history in Australia in the early ‘70s. Throughout these early years, Volvo’s B58 chassis was primarily fitted with ZF’s two-speed automatic transmission (2HP45).
Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, ZF gearboxes evolved from four-speed to five-speed automatic transmissions and were worked into various other Volvo vehicles, including the B6 and legendary B10M. ZF later introduced its impressive six -speed transmission in the early 2000s, which Volvo quickly adopted into their proceeding models, including the B7R and B12.
In 2010, ZF made another innovative step with the release of the ZF Ecolife transmission, and VBA delivered the first bus in the Australian market with this transmission in its DNA.
VBA and ZF remain close business partners, and ZF’s EcoLife transmission continues to be integrated into VBA chassis across the city, school and coach range in the B11R and highly popular B8R – with thousands operating successfully in bus fleets across the country.
“Volvo is one of our most valued partners in the Australian bus industry,” said Gary Bain, head of OE/OES sales for Oceania at ZF.
“We have worked closely together for decades, combining the best of our businesses to develop and deliver innovative, safe and reliable transport solutions. Throughout Volvo’s 50 years in Australia, they have helped shaped the industry and we congratulate them on achieving this fantastic milestone,” continued Bain.
Both Volvo and ZF say they remain committed to servicing Australian customers with dedicated teams and facilities across the country offering specialised services and support.
“Since the beginning of Volvo Bus in Australia, ZF have remained our trusted business partner and together we have delivered unparalleled solutions to our customers across the country,” says Mitch Peden, general manager Volvo Bus Australia.
“While together our products have been able to speak for themselves, our specialised teams and support networks have allowed us to go above and beyond. VBA and ZF’s dedicated people, networks and specialised parts and service facilities, have allowed us to remain agile and keep up with industry demands. The team at VBA are grateful for the wonderful partnership we’ve had with ZF throughout the decades and we look forward to continuing our partnership into the future,” concluded Peden.