Volvo has been a big name within the Australian trucking industry since 1972, when the production facility of heavy-duty trucks was established in Wacol, Brisbane, Queensland. Almost half a century later, with more than 60,000 trucks produced, the plant is now the biggest truck assembly plant in Australia. Volvo Trucks is also the largest manufacturer of vehicles in the country.
But before it became a manufacturing powerhouse, Volvo Trucks went through many operating challenges due to the unique Australian conditions. Let’s take a look at the history of Volvo Trucks in Australia and discover how its massive success came to be.
Volvo Trucks opened its $2-million assembly plant just 4 years after Volvo gained commercial vehicle operation in Australia. During this time, the Wacol facility was the second largest truck assembly plant of Volvo outside of Sweden, its global headquarters.
The first few years of operations focused on developing solutions to the challenges that truck operators face in Australia. These problems include extreme weather conditions, rugged terrain, long distances of transport, and extra heavy loads. Nevertheless, using globally tested platforms and modern technologies, Volvo Trucks was able to produce locally made trucks that suit the specific Australian requirements.
Growth and Expansion
By 1977, Volvo Trucks was already enjoying a good portion of success. From a mere 167 trucks sold per year, the sales increased to more than 1000 trucks annually. Ten years later, the production also expanded from just a medium truck range to the inclusion of FL6 small trucks, which gained massive popularity among distribution companies.
In the years following, it was FH16 Globetrotter truck’s turn on success. Released in 1995, this heavy truck stood out from all its competitors and made a huge haul of money for Volvo.
Fast forward to 2019, Volvo Trucks boasts a whole range of best-selling trucks, designed to conquer the tough Australian conditions and the specific trucking needs of consumers. The range includes the FH16, the most powerful truck of the range; FH, most suited for long hauls; FMX, the modern construction truck; FM, a versatile machine; and FE, a compact distribution truck.
Volvo Trucks has recently invested more than $15 million for the continuous improvement of the Wacol plant and another $25 million to optimise the facility’s footprint and to get higher technical capacity. Aside from the production plant, the company also invested a large sum of money ($160m) in customer service and dealer networks. This investment will also lead to the creation of a new Volvo Trucks national headquarters.
Recently joining the Australian Made Campaign, Volvo Trucks now carry the iconic “Australian Made” logo. This makes the company the sole truck manufacturer to get awarded with this prestigious honour.
Despite Volvo Trucks’ success, it has never ceased its effort to create technologically advanced trucks. Using the modern trucking technologies available, the company constantly implements its three core values: quality, safety, and environmental care.
Some of the latest technologies that Volvo trucks utilise include the Electronic Braking System, Electronic Stability Program, and Adaptive Cruise Control. Anti-Theft System is also installed in all models, as well as the I-Shift Transmission System, Electronic Climate Control and Front Under-Run Protection System.
As an effort to help protect the environment, Volvo Trucks only uses fuel-efficient engines to comply with the Euro 6 emissions standards.
Volvo Trucks considers its people as the company’s future more than the expansion of dealership systems and manufacturing plants. That’s why its goals in the coming years focus on skills and career development, as well as staff training and progression to create future leaders from within Volvo Trucks itself.
Volvo Truck Financing at Aussie Truck Loan
Volvo Trucks has come a long way since the establishment of the Wacol plant. But more than the rich history of Volvo Trucks in Australia, it’s fascinating to speculate what’s in store for the company’s future.
Right now, Volvo offers some of the best trucks you can buy. If you’re in the market for a Volvo truck for business purposes, you can get financing at Aussie Truck Loan. We can help get you the right deal for your heavy vehicle finance that is tailored to your trucking needs.