Manufacturers & Procurement

Volvo Trucks ... designed with the toughest conditions and roads in mind.

Volvo Trucks ... designed with the toughest conditions and roads in mind.

Volvo Trucks builds on network, reliable range

July 2016

Volvo Trucks has seen a ‎24 per cent increase in sales year-on-year for 2015 across the Middle East, where it is active in 13 markets thanks to its growing network and remains a key player in the region’s trucking industry.

“On top of our new Saudi Arabia CKD (complete knock-down) plant facility, we will also be rolling out a number of value-added initiatives in the coming years, to further reinforce our investment and commitment to the region,” Per Forsbergh, Volvo’s acting vice president, Commercial Trucks International Sales Area, told Gulf Construction.

As part of Volvo’s plans to boost its presence as well as its sales in the region, the company recently inaugurated its state-of-the-art assembly facility in the King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia. 

The state-of-the-art facility set up by Arabian Vehicles & Trucks Industry (AVI) – Volvo Trucks’ joint venture with the Saudi-based Zahid Tractor & Heavy Machinery Company – was designed by a Volvo Trucks project team comprising engineers and process owners from both the Volvo and Renault brands. 

Implementing a new concept for an efficient and cost-effective truck assembly, the AVI facility is the first in the world to assemble Volvo Trucks specifically for the Saudi market, said Forsbergh in an interview at the company’s demo centre in Gothenburg, Sweden.

“We pride ourselves in being able to offer vehicles and solutions to suit every ‎customer’s needs. Our trucks are designed to provide the perfect platform for ‎bodybuilders to customise them for a variety of different applications,” he added. ‎

Forsbergh continued: “We are considered leaders in the heavy haulage segment where the Volvo FH accounts for approximately 70 per cent of our sales; in 2010, we developed our construction-sector-dedicated truck, the FMX. The FMX is our strongest, most robust truck to date, built specifically for the toughest working conditions on Earth and fully equipped with innovative features to ensure maximum productivity, efficiency and minimum overall cost ownership.”

The ongoing development of the Middle East truck market makes it a key ‎focus for Volvo Trucks. The new FH, FM and FMX models and the solutions ‎Volvo offers its customers will continue to help the company to do that. “Our range of trucks ‎offers the highest possible standards of reliability, handling, robustness, fuel-‎efficiency, safety and driver comfort, resulting in more efficiency and uptime ‎for our Middle East customers. ‎

“Our trucks are designed with the toughest conditions and roads in mind while putting our customers and the drivers firmly in focus. Our goal is to give our ‎customers all the tools they need to make their businesses successful,” he remarked. ‎

Volvo’s new range of trucks including the FMX, FH and FM are highly advanced, introducing a whole raft of innovative features to the market. These include the ground-breaking Volvo dynamic steering – which delivers exceptional handling similar to that of a car, in all operating conditions – as well as the intelligent I-Shift gearbox technology.

At the same time, the new range features a totally redesigned cab, both inside and out, with improved seating position, increased usable window area, an innovative rear-view mirror design, as well as a world-first in the truck world – a steering wheel with a neck tilt function.

“We are also delighted to announce that we have recently launched a set of new features for our range of trucks to enhance productivity and boost profit margins. We are particularly excited about the launch of our new generation of I-Shift gearbox.

“Our new version of I-Shift makes it possible to add up to two new crawler ‎gears. Offering an entirely new scope for trucks with automated transmission, I-Shift ‎with crawler gears makes it possible to start from standstill in extreme situations, ‎meaning the driver can haul a heavy load without worrying about getting into situations ‎that may lead to costly standstills. Combining crawler gears with a suitable rear axle ‎ratio that optimises engine revolutions at high speeds results in lower fuel consumption on ‎the highway. This is a significant benefit to haulage firms doing this kind of work,” Forsbergh explained.

Commenting on the services offered by Volvo’s regional office in Dubai to customers in the Middle East, he says: “Our facilities in Dubai comprise a parts distribution centre, competence development centre and representation offices.”

The distribution centre delivers spare parts to Volvo retailers in various key markets in the Middle East. The strategic location in the UAE emirate is a major benefit, since the distribution centre provides improved access to spare parts and hence shortened lead times, lower transport and inventory costs. Currently, there are more than 20,000 part numbers in inventory for trucks, construction equipment and buses.

“We have also increased the focus on competence development in the region through opening a regional training centre,” he adds. The centre trains the local importers, who in turn train the local personnel in accordance with the “Train the Trainer” concept. 

The competence development centre includes facilities for vehicle and equipment training as well as for component training of more than 100 persons at the same time. 

The inclusion of the region’s training centre has increased local skill sets and aided retention of local talent. This, in itself, is testimony to Volvo’s commitment to being part of the region’s long-term development and supporting its customers, said Forsbergh.

The facilities also include the regional representation offices for Volvo Trucks, Volvo Construction Equipment and Volvo Buses – gathering the Volvo Group Middle East unit under one address in Dubai for all business areas and business units in the group.

“We are present in all Middle East markets and can serve every customer’s needs through the help of our strong importer and retailer network. Our importers and retailers have extensive service networks and facilities that guarantee our customers receive the best in market support and service packages,” he said.

On Volvo’s after-sales support, he says Volvo Trucks has focused on providing customers with the best after-sales support in the market, ‎such as the comprehensive Driver Development Programme and strengthening the sales financing ‎schemes that was introduced in conjunction with the launch of the new range. 

The intensive Driver Development Programme is focused on ensuring safer driving practices on the region’s roads, greater fuel efficiency, increased uptime and a reduction in environmental impact for businesses.

Volvo’s sales ‎financing has become very popular among its Middle East customers over the past two years. This ‎system allows the company to bring its customer service to a new level and assist clients in choosing products ‎depending on their specific needs and financial capabilities. “Our role is as an adviser to help them ‎make the best possible choice,‎‎” he stressed.

As well as its after-sales workshops, Volvo also offers tailored service packages for fleet owners. “Our service packages are designed to keep the truck on the road for as long as possible whilst maximising business profitability and reducing downtime,” Forsbergh added. 

With preventive maintenance taken care of by Volvo’s tailored service packages – which includes all driveline repairs – businesses can focus on the job at hand and not have to worry about overall running costs. 

“All our technicians are certified, use genuine Volvo parts and have access to all the necessary special tools. They perform the operations needed to ensure optimum uptime for every truck,” he concluded.

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