The roll-out of the new Volvo FH series outside Europe has started. The first stop is Brisbane, Australia. Volvo Trucks’ ambition is to further strengthen the brand’s already strong market position in the country. Due to the exceptionally tough operating conditions in Australia, this launch also sends a clear message about just how high the new trucks’ quality standards really are.
The reveal of the new Volvo FH series took place in downtown Brisbane, where hundreds of employees took part in the festivities. They had a reason to celebrate. Since 2009, Volvo Trucks’ market share has grown from 9.5 per cent to 12.9 per cent, according to Arne Knaben, President of Volvo Group Australia.
"This makes us the second largest heavy-duty brand in a highly competitive market where 17 different truck brands from all over the world are present. With the new Volvo FH we are convinced that we can even further strengthen our position on the market."
Adapted for Australian customers
The new Volvo FH series is perfectly suited for the extreme environment in Australia, where long distances are driven in hot weather, with very heavy loads and high speed limits. Due to the long transport distances, the typical Australian long-haul driver spends an average of five nights per week in the truck, which of course puts immense demands on the working and resting environment in the cab.
"The new Volvo FH for the Australian market answers a lot of questions for us," says Gary Bone, Vice President of Volvo Trucks Australia. "We now have the bigger interior cab space, we have more storage room – which is fantastic – and it’s obviously the safest Volvo ever built, which is also a massive demand for the distances that our customers travel."
One of Volvo Trucks’ biggest competitive advantages in Australia is the fact that the company has its own manufacturing facility in Wacol, just outside Brisbane. This makes it possible to tailor the trucks more quickly to meet customers’ specific needs.
"Our local engineers and designers also made a lot of adaptations on the new Volvo FH for the Australian market, which of course gave us the opportunity to meet a lot of customer requests. A few examples are the added fuel and AdBlue capacity, the new wild bar and a pull-out solution for the bed which adds an extra 30 cm," explains Gary Bone.
The very harsh driving conditions in Australia, with 60 per cent of the roads classified as rough by Volvo Trucks’ own standards, also make it a first-rate proving ground for testing new products. Therefore, Volvo Trucks Australia has been part of the new Volvo FH testing programme from the very start and the test trucks have the highest driven mileage in the world.
"For me it’s obvious: a truck that is not only ready for the demanding Australian market, but also expected to compete and win in this market has to be a very durable and high-quality truck. That assurance should mean a lot globally too," concludes Arne Knaben.