Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) inaugurated its North American Customer Center Monday with a ribbon cutting by Congressman Bill Shuster, Congressman Lou Barletta, Congressman Scott Perry, Volvo CE Americas President Göran Lindgren, Swedish Ambassador to the United States Björn Lyrvall and other dignitaries. The inauguration marks the realization of Volvo CE’s $100 million investment in its Shippensburg, PA facilities, which was announced in 2011.
The investment confirms the company’s long-term commitment to the North American market, says Volvo CE Americas President Göran Lindgren. "These investments show a commitment from Volvo that we are here in North America to stay," he says.
The opening of the Customer Center represents the consolidation of Volvo CE’s operations on one site, which included moving the Americas Sales Headquarters from North Carolina to Pennsylvania and localizing machine production in Shippensburg. Volvo’s continued investments reinforce its belief that the economic climate for the construction industry in the region is improving.
“The investments we have made show that Volvo CE is better positioned than ever before to support our dealers and offer our customers a unique experience,” said Lindgren. “The Customer Center is designed to give our customers and dealers hands-on experience with our machines and provide the help they need to put them to good use through training, information and support.”
The 40-acre Volvo CE Customer Center is a state-of-the-art facility designed to combine sales and operator training with customer and company dealer visits, as well as large-scale events such as the industry-acclaimed Volvo Days. It includes a 20,000-square-foot Customer Event Facility for the company’s dealers and customers. A new equipment demonstration area replicates actual job sites, helping to accurately demonstrate real world equipment performance. The Customer Center will also house a new brand shop and Heritage Hall, highlighting Volvo’s history. It will also house the Road Institute for customer training in the near future.
Lindgren estimates that more than 6,000 customers, operators and dealer personnel are expected to visit the new complex for training as well as sales and marketing activities annually. One feature is a demonstration area where customers get firsthand experience of the features, benefits and advantages of Volvo construction equipment.
"This facility allows for a full-day, unique customer experience," says Lindgren. "There is machine testing, a factory tour, as well as theoretical and hands-on training opportunities."
Customers can get hands-on understanding of more than 70 different models to truly experience the machines’ capabilities. Segment areas will be designed to not only highlight the company’s GPPE, utility and road machinery products, but also specialty machines like Volvo CE’s pipelayers and high-reach demolition excavators. The segment areas will also include:
- Gravel and dirt mounds for excavation
- A challenging 1.5-mile test track with steep grades
- A purpose-built ground structure to demonstrate articulated haulers
- A replica quarry application for the L350 wheel loader
The Shippensburg facility makes more than 50 models of construction equipment, including wheel loaders, soil and asphalt compactors, motor graders, pavers, screeds and milling machines. Operations include welding, large machining, paint and assembly. About 1,000 people are employed at the facility.
Lindgren is optimistic for the 2014 North American market. He sees modest growth - about a 10% uptick - over 2013. While compact equipment sales will remain flat, he says the company's GPPE and road machinery sales will increase this year.