driving Volvo Group into the future

Driving Volvo Group Into the Future

Juggling three divergent truck brands and getting them through the pandemic was the task last year and this year has not been easy for an organisation driving Volvo Group into the future. Tim Giles speaks to the leadership team about the challenges and forward plans.

The Volvo Group Australia world includes three very divergent brands. There’s the cool Scandinavian philosophy demonstrated in Volvo Trucks, the somewhat hotter enthusiasm and tradition behind the Mack Trucks brand and then the practical and pragmatic Japanese philosophy from UD Trucks. 

The project over the past twenty years has been to bring all of these disparate items in under one roof to produce a coherent offering to the Australian truck market. It has been difficult at times and the tensions were clear in the early stages of the process, as the different world views clashed heads.

Out of this period has emerged a Volvo Group which does have a singular take on the way to build and support trucks, but one which has been accepted by buyers of all three brands. The cultural hurdles have been jumped and it is possible for the three differing ways of building a truck to exist in the same organisation. Compromises have been made on all sides.

At the end of this journey the VGA retains a strong presence in the big four of the global truck manufacturing scene alongside Daimler, Paccar and, more latterly, Volkswagen, under the Traton banner.

This global philosophy has been replicated here in Australia with the organisation headquartered at it relatively new HQ in Wacol, QLD, just around the corner from the factory where the Volvos and Macks for the Australia truck market are made. 

driving Volvo Group into the future
Martin Merrick, Volvo Group Australia President

“2020, what a year,” says Martin Merrick, Volvo Group Australia President. “Like any manufacturing business we faced a few hurdles over the past twelve months. Our supply chains have been challenged at times, production stopped for three weeks and even our headquarters building was closed for some time.”

“We have entered 2021 in a very strong position and will continue to invest in what really matters to support our people, our customers, local manufacturing, the Australian transport industry and society at large.

“We are on a journey towards zero emissions transport solutions by 2040, and our journey has started in Australia. That said, the internal combustion engine will be with us here in Australia for a very long time to come.”

driving Volvo Group into the future

2021 is going to be a busy year for all three brands. For Mack the introduction of the Anthem is a major step forward and integrating that technology across all of the models is going keep the brand at the forefront of the North American truck market.

As part of driving Volvo Group into the future, Volvo trucks themselves are going through a major refresh of all its trucks and release the new-shape FM as well as making the next technology step forward throughout the range. There are also electric Volvo models on trial here.

For UD this period is one of consolidating the changes of the last few years, with the new Quon bedding in and the Croner beginning to make its way in the Australian trucking landscape. The brand is also starting to fill gaps in it offering, and this year’s addition is the 8×4 Quon, long promised and finally here.

driving Volvo Group into the future

driving Volvo Group into the future

driving Volvo Group into the future

going the extra mile

Going the Extra Mile

Steve Gould, from B&D Crane Trucks in Adelaide will be rewarded in an online ceremony for going the extra mile after UD Trucks Australia announced the winner of the local competition of the 2020 Extra Mile Challenge.

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from the driver’s seat of the Croner

From the Driver’s Seat of the Croner

The truck on test this time around is the new UD 4×2, Diesel sees how it feels from the driver’s seat of the Croner. It come with a driveline which is the same throughout the new model line-up, UD’s 280hp (206kW) at 2200rm 7.7-litre GH8E, which puts out 1,050Nm (774 ft lb) of torque, an engine based on the Volvo engine. Read more

a fully formed truck with a lot of potential

A Fully Formed Truck With a Lot of Potential 

By introducing the 8×4 Quon model now, UD is arriving in a market in which it has not competed before with a fully formed truck with a lot of potential customers’ boxes ticked from the outset. The safety and telematics packages which comes as standard on all product emanating from the Volvo Group means this truck is at the leading edge of the kind of high tech being introduced into Australia’s truck fleets. Read more

the other medium duty truck from Japan

The Other Medium Duty Truck from Japan

UD Trucks are mounting a comeback in the one sector of the Australian truck market with the other medium duty truck from Japan, the Croner, leading the charge. Diesel takes one out on the roads of Brisbane to assess its potential. Read more

UD comes to the eight legger party

UD Comes to the Eight Legger Party

It has been a long time coming, but another Japanese truck maker, UD comes to the eight legger party. This is a configuration which makes a lot of sense, but Australian Design Rules had limited its potential, until now. Read more

only one transmission offered on the new UD Croner

Only One Transmission Offered on the New UD Croner

The release of the latest UD shows just how much times have changed, there is only one transmission offered on the new UD Croner. In the past, a truck like this would be offered to market with a basic manual gearbox, and then, perhaps, a gearbox with more speeds or even an auto might be offered as an added option. Read more

all change for UD medium duty

All Change for UD Medium Duty

The introduction of the UD Croner means it is all change for UD medium duty trucks as the integration of Volvo group technology across all of its brands and ranges becomes even more apparent.  Read more

getting really serious about fuel cell trucks

Getting Really Serious About Fuel Cell Trucks

An announcement from Volvo Group and Daimler Truck sees two of the biggest truck makers in the world joining forces and getting really serious about fuel cell trucks. The two global giants are forming a joint venture for large-scale production of fuel cells with the aim of having heavy duty fuel cell trucks on the road in just over five years time.

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new UD Trucks boss announced

New UD Trucks Boss Announced

This week has seen a new UD Trucks boss announced by Volvo Group Australia. Lauren Downs has been appointed as the new UD Trucks Australia Vice President of Sales, commencing in the role from May 1, 2020.  Read more