Volvo Q & A

March 16, 2011

Editor's note: Volvo Construction Equipment announced Tuesday it would invest $100 million into its North America operations and bring its regional sales and rental activities to its Shippensburg plant off U.S. 11.

Herald-Mail staff writer Roxann Miller sat down with Meg Dameron, communications manager at Volvo Construction Equipment in Shippensburg, to talk about the transition.  

Herald-Mail: Is the product line different than what you currently produce?

Meg Dameron: "Most of what we make now is in the road machinery product range. Things like pavers and asphalt compactors that are used to make roads. We will be producing wheel loaders, excavators and articulated haulers. This brings our products into a much broader range of general construction equipment."

Herald-Mail: Give me some background on the timeline, etc.

Dameron: "The sales office and the Volvo rent office, located in Asheville, (N.C.), will be relocated to Shippensburg by September 2012."

Herald-Mail: What is the rent office:

Dameron: "Volvo has a part of the organization that offers rental equipment to customers who might not want to buy a piece of equipment, but want to rent it during a high peak season."

"Along with that, there will be a training center and a demonstration center geared toward customers coming in learning how to best use the equipment and having a chance to experience what it's like to drive it."

Herald-Mail: What does this mean for the Shippensburg facility and the community?

Dameron: "It's absolutely exciting news for us. This is a different variety of products than we currently make. So, that means that some of our products have a really strong market in the spring, but there aren't as many orders throughout the rest of the year; whereas, a lot of the new products we're going to be adding have a much more even order rate throughout the year. So, that's good for us."

Herald-Mail: How many employees work at Shippensburg now?

Dameron: "About 800 (mostly full time).

"Everyone in Asheville will be given the opportunity to have a relocation package to Shippensburg. There are 220 people currently employed there — they are working in sales and rent. They are not working in production."

"On one hand we're bringing sales professionals and marketing people to Shippensburg. On the other side of the equation, we're also increasing production and adding those three product lines. So, that means we'll have a need for skilled welders, assemblers, industrial engineers and other types of production jobs."

Herald-Mail: How many jobs will this create?

Dameron: "It will be significant. But, I can't really say at this point. Our production jobs, in particular, are always tied to the market demands."

Herald-Mail: Why bring the work to Shippensburg's Volvo?

Dameron: "We are the only U.S. production facility for Volvo construction equipment."

Herald-Mail: What will the transition be?

Dameron: "We'll transition the sales office to Shippensburg through September 2012, but it will be over the next few years that those new three products lines would be phased in.

Herald-Mail: When will the hiring begin?

Dameron: "We have been hiring, recently unrelated to this. We are still currently hiring welding positions."

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