A ground breaking ceremony attended by high profile dignitaries marks the start of construction on Volvo’s 350 Million SEK excavator factory, underscoring the company’s commitment to the Russian market.
The Governor of the Kaluga Region Anatoly Artamonov, the President of Volvo Construction Equipment Pat Olney, and the head of Volvo CE’s Russian dealer Ferronordic, Lars Corneliusson, witnessed the ground breaking ceremony of the company’s new 350 Million SEK Russian excavator manufacturing facility on April 18th.
The new plant is being built in Kaluga – 150 km southwest of Moscow – and will be Volvo’s seventh excavator manufacturing facility (of a total of 16 plants globally). Building work has begun on the 15 hectares plot and, when completed, the final manufacturing area will be 20,660 m2. Six models of excavators are planned to be made at the plan ranging from the 20-tonne EC200 to the 48-tonne EC480. The first machines are due off the assembly lines next year – creating 280 new jobs in the process.
Over 200 distinguished guests attended the ground breaking event, including customers and the media, Company president Pat Olney led a press-conference, after which was a spectacular demonstration of the company’s machines in action. With this completed, it was time for the ground breaking ceremony to take place.
“This is a considerable investment and underscores Volvo’s confidence in – and commitment to – the Russian economy,” commented the company’s president Pat Olney. “Excavators are a key product in this rapidly developing market and customers in Russia have a high regard for the Volvo brand and for the fuel efficiency, reliability and performance of our machines. This investment also demonstrates our strategy of, where possible, manufacturing goods close to where our customers are located.”
“This is the first completely new plant Volvo CE has built for quite a while,” said Carl Slotte, vice-president of the company’s activities in northern Europe. “Starting with a clean sheet of paper gives us the opportunity to create an advanced manufacturing site that incorporates innovative technologies and designs. It will be built in close compliance with our performance and environmental requirements.”
Volvo CE is a leading player in the Russian market today, and plans to double sales in the country by 2015. Excavator manufacturing in Kaluga will play an important role in achieving this goal. The second important success factor will be developing the distribution network in this vast country. New Russian dealer Ferronordic Machines LLC has an ambitious investment and expansion programme, one that will see numbers of branches swell to approximately 100 locations by 2015 (up from today’s 55) and headcount more than double to around 1,000 people in the same time span.