Volvo Australia marks manufacturing milestone

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Volvo Group Australia has manufacturered its 60,000th truck at its Wacol plant in Brisbane – joining the Australian Made Campaign to announce the milestone.

Despite the recent closures to the country’s car assembly sector, company president and CEO Peter Voorhoeve said that Volvo was proving that automotive manufacturing is still alive across Australia.

“Our Wacol plant has been operating since 1972, and houses manufacturing and engineering facilities to produce both Volvo and Mack trucks,” he said.

“The plant makes a significant economic contribution to the local area, and it does so without any government subsidies.”

Voorhoeve said the Australian market was very competitive, but building trucks locally meant the company could meet and exceed the demands of customers, by building exactly to their specification.

“We have close to 450 people directly employed in the production process, about 50 dedicated engineers based in Brisbane,” he continued

“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.

“We are committed to manufacturing trucks in Australia and have invested over $27m in the production facility alone in the last six years, and will invest a further $3.7m 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.”

The milestone at Volvo Australia’s Queensland base coincided with the launch of the largest fleet of certified Australian-made trucks, which were wrapped in green and gold to represent the campaign’s logo.

“We are thrilled these green-and-gold giants will be trucking around the country celebrating the Australian automotive manufacturing industry,” said Australian Made Campaign CEO, Ian Harrison.

“By joining the Australian Made Campaign, Volvo Group Australia is making a powerful statement about its commitment to promoting local manufacturing, both in its direct production operations and through its support of the local automotive components’ industry.”

Between the Volvo Group and private partners, around $160m worth of investment will have been made between 2014 and 2018 in its dealership and service network.

The industry employs approximately 150,000 people across more than 40,000 businesses, contributing $8.4 billion in wages back into the economy.