Volvo Trucks South Africa has presented the first locally produced unit of its new product range to Goldfields Logistics.
The new FH unit will be incorporated into the company’s existing fleet of almost 200 Volvo trucks. Goldfields Logistics, a specialised warehousing and distribution supplier with nationwide operations, has plans to convert its fleet to Volvo trucks only, and it will have 212 units by the end of 2021.
“We acquired our first Volvo truck in 2010, and we keep investing in the brand due to its proven fuel efficiency, safety and driver comforts,” says Wynand van der Westhuizen, MD of Goldfields Logistics. “For us, it comes down to total cost of ownership, resale value and the aftermarket support we receive from Volvo Trucks.”
Volvo Trucks recently launched its new FH16, FH, FM and FMX ranges in South Africa.
According to Marcus Hörberg, vice president of Volvo Group Southern Africa, the launch is the biggest in the company’s history. The first locally produced unit to roll off the line made for a historic moment for the company and its staff.
“We are very pleased to hand over this first unit to Goldfields Logistics, as our strategic partnership has been built over many years of mutual trust and operational knowledge,” says Hörberg. “The new models are the best truck ranges we have ever built. They are also our safest and most comfortable ranges yet, which will surely support our customers in attracting the best drivers in the industry.”
Volvo’s South African plant in Amanzimtoti currently employs 156 staff members in various roles – engineering, assembly and quality assurance. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, product and technical experts from Europe have trained and supported the local plant virtually. It was a new experience for all involved.
According to David Fränne, director of the Volvo Trucks Durban plant, despite being a small plant in the greater Volvo Group system, there is one world standard solution and one way of working in producing these innovative truck ranges.
“The same quality and safety standards that apply at any of the other plants on the various continents are relevant and applied here. Customers are therefore assured of receiving only the best-quality trucks, produced according to stringent Volvo standards,” he says.
The event was a momentous occasion for all the plant staff. “We are extremely proud of the team, who rose to the occasion and turned our biggest launch into a reality here in South Africa.”
The team appears to be equally proud. “Every day we are focusing on giving 100% to every part of the truck we are assembling. Quality and safety are part of our DNA, and this is what we give our customers,” says Ntombekhaya Makeleni, an assembler at the plant.
Celine John, another assembler, adds: “Nothing beats teamwork, and it was amazing to be part of the process from the start to the final product rolling off the line.”