Following record demand and strong ongoing orders in New Zealand & Australia, the Volvo Trucks Factory in Wacol Queensland has again increased capacity to help ease the pressure and ensure future capability to meet customer’s needs.
Vice President Volvo Truck Sales Australia, Mitch Peden, says that “On-going demand in New Zealand has been a large part of the decision to further increase build capacity. We recognise though, there are a number of customers who haven’t been able to wait. Ramping up production however, is a complex process and it’s vital that we focus on recruitment, training and our quality processes to ensure we maintain the market leading quality standards our customers expect from Volvo. Every time we have increased supply in 2017, demand has quickly outstripped it. Although we are very confident that in 2018 we will be in a position to build more trucks than our customers, both in New Zealand and Australia, will have demand for”.
“Volvo Trucks in New Zealand has delivered record numbers in 2017 and demand for orders into 2018 remain at all-time high levels across the Volvo FM, FMx and FH model ranges.” continues Peden. “At a factory level, we are doing a lot of work to ensure every available build slot is allocated to the New Zealand team because we know they have orders waiting. Further to this, we are working hard to do a better job of prioritising our build slots to have them allocated to customers in line with their particular timing demands. We have juggled our build plan to maximise our ability to get additional trucks to New Zealand and while there’s possibly not as many as we would like in the first half of 2018 if the market continues to grow, we’ll continue to focus on satisfying as many requests as possible”
Pedan remarks “Demand for Volvo Trucks is also at very high levels in Western Europe and other key Volvo markets worldwide which places additional pressure on all of the supply chain facets. The fact that we have had very few delivery delays in 2017 is pleasing, particularly for our New Zealand exports given this year’s volumes and the associated challenges with running the business at what is essentially maximum capacity”.
MTD Trucks NZ National Sales Manager for Volvo Trucks Clive Jones, confirms exceptional demand from Kiwi customers. “True that the total heavy truck market in New Zealand is well up on last year but our market share indicates significantly higher growth than our premium segment competitors. To some extent we forecast that demand but the level of growth has remained exceptionally strong and that continues to be the case as we head into the tail end of the year when demand traditionally softens. It’s always difficult to let sales go when we’re unable to deliver and we’ve certainly faced that situation a few times this year. On the upside though, we are grateful to the significant number of our customers who are pre planning and making orders in advance as well as the large number of new fleets who have joined the brand this year despite some long lead times”.
“We have seen the growth right across the range” says Jones “however, our high horsepower offering has seen the strongest increase with 700 and 750hp leading the charge as more and more high productivity vehicles enter the national fleet. Trip times, fuel efficiency, driver comfort and safety have all contributed to the demand”.