HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Federal and state officials joined Volvo Group executives and Mack Powertain Division employees to celebrate the beginning of the transformation of the Hagerstown, Maryland facility into the North American Center of Excellence for powertrain operations of the Volvo Group.
In a ceremony at the Pennsylvania Avenue plant, Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., and the Ambassador of Sweden to the United States, Mr. Jan Eliasson, joined officials from Mack and the Volvo Group in celebrating the start of construction on a new engine development laboratory building, while noting the broader implications of the multi-year transformation project.
"The investment in Hagerstown represents a major commitment from the Volvo Group to the North American truck market," said Lars-Gran Moberg, president and CEO of Volvo Powertrain Corporation, responsible for the entire powertrain operations of the Sweden-based Volvo Group. "As a result of this commitment, the demanding customers in this market can expect industry-leading quality and performance for years to come."
The new laboratory building will house state-of-the-art testing areas and equipment, and will utilize the latest in communications and Internet-based technology to link with Volvo’s other engine development facilities in Gothenberg, Sweden, Lyon, France and Curitiba, Brazil, creating a truly global research and development capability for the Volvo Group.
In addition to the new laboratory building, the transformation project includes a major investment in the production areas within the plant. The investment will prepare the facility, which has been manufacturing Mack engines since 1961, to begin production of Volvo engines for Volvo Trucks North America early next year. Mack production will continue. The Volvo Group is the world’s largest producer of heavy-duty diesel engines.
Sten-Ake Aronsson, senior vice president of the Mack Powertrain Division, offered congratulations and praise to the plant’s employees and the public officials who represent them for their role in securing the investment for the Hagerstown plant.
"This achievement is the result of great cooperation and commitment on the part of this community and this state, to ensure that the best truck engines in North America will continue to come from Hagerstown in the future," Aronsson said.
Other speakers included Mack President and CEO Paul Vikner, Volvo Trucks North America President and CEO Peter Karlsten, U.S. EPA Deputy Administrator Steven Johnson and United Auto Workers International Representative Jim Rogers. Roger Johnston, vice president and general manager, served as master of ceremonies for the event. The event was attended by the plant’s 1,400 employees and several hundred invited guests, and featured a presentation on the transformation project from project leader Hugo van Belleghem.
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