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Prime Mover Magazine

Homeward bound

Homeward bound

Laying claim to now being Australia’s biggest automotive manufacturer, Volvo Group Australia has opened its new $30 million Australian head office in Brisbane. In addition to housing the administration functions of the group, the new facility will also become the South Brisbane dealership for the Volvo, Mack and UD Trucks brands.

Volvo Group Australia’s new national headquarters accommodates modern offices, the dealership and a contemporary workshop and service department on a 33,000 square metre site at the Metroplex Westgate business park. The new facility was officially opened by Queensland Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk along with Volvo Group’s global President and CEO Martin Lundstedt who took the opportunity to announce further investments to upgrade Volvo Group’s Queensland truck factory at nearby Wacol.

According to Martin, refurbishment of the Wacol truck plant enables the Group to further increase production, indicating the company’s strongly positive outlook.

“Our increase in market share towards 27 per cent over the past five years, in combination with a strong heavy-duty truck market, makes it necessary to further increase our production capacity,” he said, referring to the combined heavy duty sales results across the three brands.

“In the past five years alone, production at our Wacol factory has increased by 40 per cent. Investing in the Wacol factory will help grow our 27 per cent market share and give a boost to around 85 local component suppliers.
“Volvo Group Australia has been making trucks in Queensland since 1972 and we are extremely confident in the Australian market – we employ more than 1500 people across the country and have produced more than 60,000 trucks from the Wacol factory.”

Welcoming the announcement, Premier Palaszczuk said the Wacol plant was a significant part of the state’s manufacturing base, employing almost 500 people.

“Volvo Group is the only truck manufacturer to be awarded ‘Australian Made’ certification, and we’re particularly proud to call them Queensland-made,” said Palaszczuk.

“Their commitment to the State is a vote of confidence in our future and testament to the State’s economic strength.”

The event was also one of the final official engagements for outgoing Volvo Group Australia President Peter Voorhoeve, prior to him taking up the position at Volvo Trucks North America.

“The new headquarters is an energising space which will inspire our people on to greater things,” Voorhoeve said, adding that the complex brought together about 200 staff under one roof.

“The main building’s seven metre glass hangar door and 12.5 metre atrium were specially engineered to allow heavy vehicles inside, while the central staircase reflects a DNA helix shape linking each level. It’s a beautiful building, but more than that it’s a tangible demonstration of Volvo Group’s commitment to its future operations in Australia.”

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