Arabian Vehicles & Trucks Industry (AVI), a joint venture between Zahid Tractor & Heavy Machinery and Volvo Truck Corporation, has commenced production at its new facility located in the Industrial Valley of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Saudi Arabia’s Western Province.
AVI’s state-of-the-art facility was designed by a Volvo/Renault Trucks project team consisting of specialists from both brands.
The new facility is fully air-conditioned and has been ergonomically designed. Tooling, fixtures, equipment, drive line, crane structure, special racking on the assembly line, ergonomically-proven tightening tools, and different lifting and moving fixtures help to keep the facility running at optimum performance.
The AVI facility will be one of the first in the world to assemble both Volvo and Renault trucks on the same line.
“This is a memorable day indeed in AVI’s long and rich history. The new AVI facility represents a significant breakthrough in the diversification of Saudi Arabia’s industrial capabilities and highlights Zahid Group’s role as a leading B2B (business-to-business) group in the kingdom,” said Wafaa Zawawi, chairman of the board of managers of AVI, at the launch ceremony.
“This facility also underlines Zahid Group’s commitment to developing local talent by providing employment, training and growth opportunities for the Saudi youth.
“The decision to relocate the AVI facility from Jeddah to KAEC was driven by KAEC’s ability to provide a business-friendly environment, strong governance and fast-track employment opportunities,” Zawawi stated. “All of these facets of the KAEC will be essential in running AVI’s large-scale plant efficiently.”
Fahd Al Rasheed, managing director and Group CEO of King Abdullah Economic City, commented: “This is also a great day for KAEC since the start of production at AVI’s assembly plant truly fulfils the original concept of King Abdullah Economic City as a key driver in Saudi Arabia’s diversification into non-oil sectors to provide alternative sources of revenue and reduce reliance on imports.
“We are happy to see the first Volvo truck roll out from the assembly line and share AVI’s pride that Saudi nationals are an integral part of this great achievement, giving full credence to the words ‘Made in Saudi Arabia’,” he added.
Anders Olausson, vice president of Volvo Global Manufacturing and AVI board member, said the principles followed in designing the production processes and the general layout of the new AVI facility, were derived from the Volvo production system, which utilises “lean manufacturing” principles.