In line with the internationalisation of the automobile industry – and helped by the on-going proliferation of free trade agreements around the world – globalisation is radically changing the face of modern truck making. Multi-brand businesses like Daimler, Volkswagen and Volvo are increasingly following the car industry’s example of creating economies of scale to stay competitive in a volatile and increasingly unpredictable business environment. The result is a heavy vehicle market that is more international than ever before, based on jointly developed componentry and shared technology. But how does that development affect individual truck brands? Do knowledge sharing and joint venturing dilute the very nature of the trucks we know and love?
To find out, Prime Mover is taking the iconic Mack Super-Liner for a ride from Adelaide to Sydney. As part of the global Volvo Group, it is tied into a vast engineering eco-system reaching all the way from Sweden to Australia, and yet the first impression doesn’t leave much doubt about the truck’s true nature: While benefitting from having access to group technology, our big black test vehicle is still unmistakably American. Both from the outside and behind the wheel, it’s as bold and boisterous as an American bulldog can be, and with a GVM of 110,000kg, there isn’t a lot of transport work you wouldn’t entrust it with.
As such, there is an aura of invincibility around the Super-Liner that is refreshingly ‘old school’ in the age of digitalisation and automation, with twin air inlets and exhaust stacks still conveying the ‘tough dog’ image so many Australian transport businesses identify with.
The full story has appeared in the July edition of Prime Mover. To get your copy, click here.