Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive, Ian Harrison, launched the largest fleet of certified Australian-made trucks today at Volvo Group Australia’s headquarters in Brisbane, proving automotive manufacturing in Australia is far from over.
Volvo Group Australia is the largest automotive manufacturer in Australia and is currently the only manufacturer of certified Australian-made trucks in the country.
This is the first time the green-and-gold Australian Made logo will be seen on trucks nationwide.
Volvo Group Australia’s Mack and Volvo trucks were wrapped in green-and-gold to celebrate.
“We are thrilled these green-and-gold giants will be trucking around the country celebrating the Australian automotive manufacturing industry,” Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive, Ian Harrison, said.
“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.”
President and CEO of Volvo Group Australia, Peter Voorhoeve, said that despite well-publicised reports of recent car manufacturing closures, the Group is proving automotive manufacturing in Australia will remain, highlighting the ongoing success of the Group’s Brisbane-based Wacol plant, and outlining future investment plans.
“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,” he added.
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. 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,” he said.
“We are committed to manufacturing trucks in Australia and have invested over $27m in the production facility alone in the last 6 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.”
“We are also investing considerably, together with our private partners, in our dealerships and customer service network,” he added.
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.
Voorhoeve explained 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,” he said.
The industry employs approximately 150,000 people across more than 40,000 businesses, contributing $8.4 billion in wages back into the economy.
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.