Australia’s car manufacturing industry may have been shut down but truck manufacturing is surging along nicely with Volvo Group Australia rolling the 60,000th truck off its production line in Wacol today.
VGA is now Australia’s largest automotive manufacturer today celebrating the 60,000 milestone by joining the Australian Made Campaign and being awarded certification to carry the iconic ‘Australian Made’ logo,
President and CEO of Volvo Group Australia, Peter Voorhoeve announced the milestone and said that the Group has demonstrated that automotive manufacturing is alive in Australia. \
“Our Wacol plant has been operating since 1972, and houses manufacturing and
engineering facilities to produce both Volvo and Mack trucks,” said Voorhoeve.
“The plant makes a significant economic contribution to the local area, and it does it
without any government subsidies,” he added.
“We have close to 450 people directly employed in the production process, about 50 dedicated engineers based in Brisbane. The Wacol factory also has approximately
85 local suppliers delivering more than 3,500 different components to the Wacol factory – of which, many are produced right here in Australia,” Voorhoeve said.
The news that Volvo Group has officially joined the Australian Made Campaign, means it has been awarded certification to carry the iconic green-and-gold ‘Australian Made’ logo.
Joining the campaign means that Volvo Group Australia is currently the only truck
manufacturer in Australia to have been awarded the prestigious certification. The award was presented by the CEO of the Australian Made Campaign, Ian Harrison.
“We’re delighted that Volvo Group Australia has joined the campaign,” said Harrison. “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.
“But our Australian engineers leverage the globally proven vehicle platforms and latest innovations to design trucks that are tailored for the unique Australian conditions,” he said.
“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,” he explained.
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
$27million in the production facility alone in the last six years, and will invest a further
$3.7million in upgrading our chassis treatment and cab paint process. We’re talking about a lot of money, which is a reflection of how confident we are in local manufacturing” he said.
“We are also investing considerably, together with our private partners, in our dealerships and customer service network,” he added.
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.
“Of the $160 million in investments for 2014 to 2018, Volvo Group will have contributed $65 million to finance projects. These include several to be completed in 2018, notably, new national headquarters, and new dealerships in both Brisbane and. Sydney.”
Voorhoeve said that the investment amounts are considerable because trucking is big business in Australia.
“The road freight transport industry is generally quite humble, and rarely in the spotlight despite being a $42 billion industry. Almost everything we touch, eat and use has been on a truck at some stage.”
“The industry employs approximately 150,000 people across more than 40,000 businesses, contributing $8.4 billion in wages back into the economy,” he said.
Voorhoeve added that while growth in the transport industry has slowed in recent years, it has weathered the slowdown of the resource sector quite well and looks to be bouncing back in 2017.