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Volvo presents first U.S.-built D12 engine

April 20, 2005|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

daniels@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - The first U.S.-built Volvo D12 engine is destined for hard labor rather than display.

During a presentation Friday at the Volvo powertrain facility in Hagerstown, officials from Volvo Trucks North America Inc. showed the engine to its future owners from Alabama-based AAA Cooper Transportation, said Jim McNamara, senior manager for communications with Volvo Trucks North America Inc.

McNamara said the engine was sent to Volvo's New River Valley Plant in Dublin, Va., where it will be installed in one of Volvo's trucks and shipped to AAA Cooper Transportation.

"We're going to put it straight on the highway," said AAA Cooper Transportation Maintenance Director Robert Floyd, who attended the presentation with AAA Cooper CEO G. Mack Dove and Volvo Trucks North America Inc. CEO Peter Karlsten. "I think it's really good that they are bringing this engine to be manufactured in the United States."

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In September 2004, the Volvo Group, parent company for Volvo Trucks North America Inc., launched a $150 million conversion of the Mack Trucks powertrain plant north of Hagerstown into the North American Center of Excellence for Volvo's powertrain operations.

AAA Cooper was selected as the recipient of the first Volvo D12 engine built in Hagerstown because of the large volume of business it does with Volvo, McNamara said.

"They have been a longtime Volvo customer and have been a loyal Volvo engine customer for a long time, so we wanted to give them the honor," McNamara said.

"As we said last year, we are moving production of Volvo engines to Hagerstown," he said. "We are beginning to ramp up so the AAA Cooper (engine) was the first in the series."

Floyd said AAA Cooper has a fleet of about 1,800 trucks, which it uses to ship dry goods across the country. The company bought the first of its Volvo engines in 1995 and switched to Volvo exclusively in 2000.

McNamara said he does not know when Volvo will reach full production of its D12 engines but that production of another 16-liter Volvo D16 will begin in late August.

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