This year has seen the introduction of the new Euro 6 range from Volvo and the release of the Mack Anthem for the first time, both of which are major steps forwards for Volvo Group Australia.
The first appearance of the Mack Anthem model in Australia has been some time coming, but it is here now and on the road. The Anthem model itself will be replacing the Granite model, but also represents an upgrade for the larger Trident and Superliner models, integrating the Anthem systems and design into a much-upgraded pair of models.
“We will continue to invest in the Mack offering to ensure we remain competitive with our product, safety technology and emission standards,” says Martin Merrick, VGA President and CEO. “To make this happen, I presented a compelling business case to our colleagues in North America, and Mack Trucks International has committed to invest $100 million in the Mack range over the next three years, and that’s on top of what we have today.
“In addition to developing our hard product offering we will continue to develop our Mack Total Solutions offering, such as Mack Financial Services, service agreements and connected services to improve total cost of ownership for our customers. Our goal is to improve maximum uptime for our customers through advanced solutions.
“Volvo Group has over one million connected assets globally. Mack’s uptime and productivity solutions combine intelligent software, driver assisted truck technologies and more to help our customers keep their trucks and businesses moving forward. In Australia, this technology is backed up by a network second to none with over 130 service points and over 1,000 highly trained technicians.”
Mack has partnered with the Bendix in its latest offering of the Mack Anthem and the Anthem-based evolutionary update of the other Mack models fitting the Bendix Wingman safety system as standard. The safety suite includes the ECE R29 certified cabin and integrated FUPS, Road Stability Advantage, Blindspotter, as well as the aforementioned and fully integrated Wingman Fusion system.
All of the cabin interiors have been fully updated in the Anthem style including the flat-bottomed steering wheel, which does not have a driver’s airbag as an add-on to the other state-of-the-art safety systems. Predictive cruise control is also included in the new offering.
“Safety is our number one priority,” says Martin, when asked about not fitting airbags. “We are on a journey to ensure we have zero accidents. We are focusing now on preventing collisions. Of course, I would say that airbag will come, but we are on that journey. We have the $100 million development funds, all I can say is, watch this space.”
Euro 6 Volvo Introduced
This year has seen the introduction of the new Euro 6 range from Volvo. The biggest change has been the introduction of a new cabin for the FM truck range, updating the design to match the FH cabin, introduced some years ago. This means the windows are larger and the A pillars are thinner, aiding visibility.
The FH range has been upgraded using the current cab design, including the XXL sleeper, as well. There is a new digital dashboard and upgraded electronics all round. The new models have enhanced safety features and adaptive cruise control, developing beyond the systems on the previous models.
“Volvo Group globally will continue to invest in more climate friendly solutions,” says Gary Bone, Vice President Volvo Truck Sales. “We will, of course, benefit from that investment here in Australia. In Europe this year, Volvo Trucks will open the order books to a complete heavy range with electric drivelines and volume production will start in 2022. While diesel will continue to play a continuing role in the Australian truck market and we will be turning every stone to improve fuel efficiency, we are also exploring and investing in alternative fuels and electro-mobility.
“Our primary task is to ease the transition to electrified vehicle by offering holistic solutions that include route planning, correctly specified vehicles, making sure we have an effective charging infrastructure, plus financing and services to go along with this amazing new product.”