Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: HeraldMail HomeCollectionsJobs

Volvo Construction Equipment celebrates its $100 million expansion

Company unveils first U.S.-built wheel loaders as they rolled off assembly line at Franklin County plant

March 21, 2013|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Members of Volvo Construction Equipment's management and other officials cut the ribbon Thursday as Volvo celebrated the expansion of its Shippensburg, Pa., plant. Pictured from left are: Andy Knight, president operations region Americas Volvo Construction Equipment; Pat Olney, president of Volvo Construction Equipment; Victor Mendez, administrator of the Federal Highway Administration; Jonas Hafstrom, Swedish ambassador to the United States; Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker and Goran Lindgren, president, sales region Americas Volvo Construction Equipment.
Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. — Volvo Construction Equipment celebrated its $100 million investment in its new national headquarters in Shippensburg during a day-long ceremony Thursday.

The company also unveiled its first U.S.-built wheel loaders as they rolled off the assembly line at the Franklin County plant Thursday.

“This should serve as a very clear signal that Volvo CE is committed to this market and in a better position than ever before to offer our customers products that are made by Americans, for Americans,” Volvo Construction Equipment President Pat Olney said in a statement.

The wheel loaders were previously made in Sweden.

The Shippensburg facility has produced construction equipment for almost 40 years, operating for most of those four decades as Ingersoll Rand. Volvo’s $100 million expansion includes a 36,000-square-foot Volvo Americas headquarters, a new production line of wheel loaders, excavators and off-highway haulers and a customer-demonstration center, which will open early next year.

Advertisement

The company’s investment into the local area has already meant hundreds of jobs for the area with more expected, according to company officials.

“We’ve added around 100 jobs from the move of the sales office from Asheville (N.C.) to here, and we’ve added at least 100 engineering jobs. The jobs that we add here aren’t just in production. This is the headquarters for the Americas. It’s a global technical center for road equipment and also it’s a sales center for North America as well,” said Andy Knight, operations president, Volvo Construction Equipment Americas.

Between 200 and 300 jobs have been added at the Shippensburg plant.

If volumes increase the way the company is expecting, Knight said the company could add another 200 employees over the long term, mostly in production.

L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp., was one of many local, state and national leaders to attend Thursday’s ceremony.

“This the culmination of a lot of work, but having the Volvo corporate headquarters in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, Franklin County, represents arguably one of the most significant economic development projects of the last 25 years,” Ross said.

“This company has a global presence. Their corporate, social responsibility commitments are unmatched in the area,” he said.

“The jobs that have been retained and the jobs that are being created are all above average and this company gives back to the community,” Ross said.

Knight said the local workforce has been stellar.

“I think the workforce we have here is excellent. What they have is a fantastic attitude, very hardworking and what’s really impressive is their willingness to embrace change and embrace new ways of doing things,” he said.

“They don’t just build machines. They think about what they need to do to make it better and they come up with improvements, which is exactly what we want,” he said.

Wheel loader production will focus on the smaller wheel loaders (the L60 to L90 models), said Sean Glennon, vice president of operations at the Shippensburg facility.

“These machines are in high demand in North America. It’s easier to start up production of smaller machines and work our way up,” he said. “The investment we make in these smaller models will allow us to eventually launch into the bigger machines and meet a wider scope of customer needs.”

Volvo company officials declined to comment on wheel loader annual production estimates, citing concerns about competition.

In the first quarter of 2014, Volvo is slated to open a customer service center in Shippensburg.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|