Following President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday, Volvo CE head of American sales Göran Lindgren says that significant political will is needed to repair the country’s ‘one big pothole’.
“It seems that political will is finally catching up with what the construction industry –and motorists – have known for years: that America’s highway system is seriously dilapidated and in dire need of repair and modernization.” So says Göran Lindgren, head of Volvo Construction Equipment’s Americas business, following President Obama’s State of the Union address this week, in which he highlighted the need for infrastructural renewal on a grand scale.
Admitting that the country’s infrastructure – especially roads and bridges – were badly in need of repair, the President outlined his intention to boost the economy via improvements in transportation links.
"Businesses and citizens depend on basic transportation infrastructure every day for their livelihoods and they know that the current level of investment is not sustainable,” Mr. Lindgren continued. “Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently described America as ‘one big pothole’ – and he’s right.”
"I am hopeful that a solution to the situation can be reached after hearing President Obama’s speech last night and new House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster’s statements today about the importance the transportation infrastructure to the U.S. economy."
“Volvo Construction Equipment, along with other manufacturers of construction and road building equipment, has lobbied tirelessly to promote the need for improvements in the country’s transport network. Until now there hasn’t been the political will to make it happen. Thankfully that now looks to be changing. Of course, as the makers of the machines that will do the work, we have a vested interest in highway investment, but as the President made clear in his address, all American individuals and businesses thrive if we have a world-class transport system,” Mr. Lindgren added.
There are many great organizations working to ‘build America’ including the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and their I Make America campaign. I Make America is a national grassroots campaign to dramatically increase jobs for America's equipment manufacturers. Volvo CE is a proud partner with AEM in advocating - from the ground up - for a strong infrastructure network. “Better roads and bridges not only benefit the average driver; it encourages companies to invest and create jobs in America,” said Dennis Slater, AEM president. “It takes manufacturers, like Volvo, to make a commitment here and for policies to support those efforts.”
Volvo CE has shown its dedication to the long-term development of the US construction industry following its $100 million investment in its manufacturing facilities in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, which will bring local manufacturing of core products to one of Volvo CE’s home markets. Volvo CE is also creating a world-class customer and demonstration center in Shippensburg, as well as an Americas Headquarters facility on its current campus, further demonstrating its commitment to the North American market.
“While the President’s call for investment is a very encouraging development,” Mr. Lindgren concluded. “In order for this commitment to become reality the real test will be the legislative proposals – and cross party support – it leads to in the coming month. We should literally build on the President’s State of the Union Address.”