Today Volvo Group's newly appointed global president and CEO, Martin Lundstedt, turned the first sod on the new $30m head quarters and dealership to be built at the Metroplex Westgate business park in Wacol.
Mr Lundstedt addressed workers and customers with great charisma at the group's Wacol assembly plant, and he made it clear the Australian division is a high priority for Volvo.
Volvo Group Australia employs 1,350 people around the country and has a 26.2 per cent share of the national truck market, greater than any of its competitors.
The 32,500sqm development will be completed in late-2017 and is expected to create thousands of jobs, something Volvo is passionate about, as well as utilising solar power, rainwater harvesting and LED lighting.
Initially, 320 people will relocate from other Volvo sites in the area to the new development, with more than 550 employees continuing to work at Volvo Group Australia's other five sites in Wacol.
"Volvo has been building trucks in Brisbane for more than 40 years and has a very bright future here," Mr Lundstedt said.
The Volvo Group assembly plant in Wacol put more than 2000 Volvo and Mack trucks on the road in 2015, building the Volvo FH, FM and FMX and the Mack Granite, Metro-Liner, Super-Liner, Trident and Titan.
The Wacol facility, operating successfully since 1972, is the only Volvo plant in the world that over-paints chassis and it offers 100% customisation on Macs and 90% customisation on Volvo's.
The plant also features a piece of robotic assembly equipment which glues windscreens, which you can see in action here.
Another innovative feature of the Wacol plant is the rolling road installed in 2010, offering the chance to test all of their trucks aside from the tri-drive model, without the need for road testing.
Diff lock tests, speed limiter functionality and more are tested on the rolling road, making for a safer process and better pin-pointing of any potential issues.
"Wacol is the largest truck assembly plant in Australia and its dedicated workforce has enabled Volvo Group Australia to become the largest truck-builder in the country.
"I appreciate that manufacturing in Australia has been in decline for a number of years, as it has in many other countries, but the outlook for our business is strong.
"We've invested more than $27m in Volvo Group assembly plants in recent years. That's a sign of our great confidence in the Australian business," Mr Lundstedt said.
The Australian Industry Group's National Manufacturing Director, Mark Goodsell, welcomes Volvo Group's investment in Australia.
"It's great to see a prestigious and successful international company supporting local manufacturing and backing the skills and commitment of Australian managers and workers," Mr Goodsell said.
Local manufacturing provides Volvo Group Australia with an edge in dealing with the country's harsh environment and unique truck requirements.
Volvo Group Australia's President, Peter Voorhoeve, emphasised that local manufacturing is a competitive advantage in Australia.
"Australia is the toughest trucking environment in the world and it makes sense for us to build locally the specific trucks the market demands.
"In Australia trucks carry heavier loads for longer distances and in higher temperaturs than anywhere else in the world," Mr Voorhoeve said.
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