Volvo to invest $100 million in Franklin Co. location

Company to establish its North American sales headquarters and rentals program in Shippensburg

March 15, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Volvo Construction Equipment plans to invest $100 million into its North American operations and bring its regional sales and rental activities to the plant off U.S. 11 in Shippensburg, Pa.
By Roxann Miller, Staff Writer

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. — Volvo Construction Equipment announced Tuesday it will invest $100 million in its Franklin County, Pa., campus and start producing wheel loaders, excavators and off-highway haulers there.

Volvo also will establish its North American sales headquarters and rentals program in Shippensburg, according to a news release.

The initiative, lasting through September 2012, will transfer all operations from the company's Asheville, N.C., facilities, corporate spokeswoman Beatrice Cardon said.

The move will affect 220 people. Cardon said it's too early to know how many employees will transfer or what the overall job impact will be at Shippensburg's plant on U.S. 11, where Volvo Construction Equipment already employs more than 600 people.

"This is a big deal not only from the standpoint of capital investment and jobs, but this isn't something we see too often, relocating operations from the South to the Northeast," said L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County (Pa.) Area Development Corp.

Volvo's plans make sense for the company because it can consolidate its North American construction operations in Shippensburg and its South American operations in Brazil, Ross said. The jobs will range from blue collar to management, he said.

The Volvo announcement is important for the manufacturer's supply chain, Ross said. When Volvo in Shippensburg underwent a $30 million expansion finalized in June 2010, the Franklin County Area Development Corp. helped DeeTag, a Canadian-based vendor for hydraulic hoses, establish operations in the Cumberland Valley Business Park, he said.

"That is an area where we as FCADC want to be fully engaged," Ross said of the supply chain.

In the news release, Olof Persson, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Construction Equipment, said the company will work closely with local suppliers to increase the North American content of its products.

"Producing Volvo wheel loaders, articulated haulers and excavators in Shippensburg will result in shorter lead times for our customers," Persson said in the news release.

Volvo plans to construct a new office building to house its regional sales headquarters, Volvo Rents offices and a training center, according to the news release.

"We give training on how to use our equipment to our customers, and sales and technical training," Cardon said.

The company already provides training for pavers and compactors at a center in Chambersburg, Pa., as well as one in Phoenix, Ariz., she said.

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