HAGERSTOWN, MD — Volvo and Mack started production of their, respectively, I-Shift and mDrive automated manual transmissions at the Hagerstown, MD., powertrain facility today. Mack powertrain components have been assembled there since 1961.
Demand for the transmissions – essentially the same product — has been strong enough in North America to warrant the decision to assemble in the U.S. The transmissions were previously built in Köping, Sweden, before being sent to Hagerstown for adaptation to North American market requirements.
“This is an important addition to our North American production capabilities and highlights I-Shift’s tremendous growth since its introduction more than five years ago to the North American market,” said Ron Huibers, president, Volvo Trucks North America sales and marketing.
Volvo invested $8 million in the Hagerstown facility for a new assembly line, new equipment and tooling, as well as employee training. The move also brings 50 new jobs to the region.
The I-Shift transmission is central to Volvo’s XE powertrain package, which won the Truck Writers of North America 21st annual Technical Achievement Award last year. Volvo announced in April that the XE package would also be offered with the 16-liter Volvo D16 engine.
In Mack form the transmission is engineered to work exclusively with Mack MP series engines as part of its Pedigree powertrain offering, similar to the Volvo XE package. More than a third of the Pinnacle-model highway trucks currently rolling off the assembly line at Mack’s Macungie, Pa. truck plant feature the mDrive.
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