Marcus Hörberg, fourth from right, with the Volvo Trucks team.
Marcus Hörberg, fourth from right, with the Volvo Trucks team.

Volvo will build a R146m Durban Truck Centre in 2019 to serve as a new state-of-the-art dealership that will better service customers.

The announcement was made by Marcus Hörberg, the recently appointed new vice-president of Volvo Group Southern Africa, at the recent Festival of Motoring at Kyalami. This follows 2017’s R6.5m investment into the firm’s Durban SKD manufacturing plant to install Volvo Active Safety Package features that were previously not available to this market.

"A standard Volvo truck is one of the world’s safest trucks and when equipped with the Volvo Active Safety package, it is even safer for the driver, and other road users," said Hörberg, adding that the Swedish brand’s vision is to have zero accidents involving a Volvo truck.

Volvo Trucks aims to grow its profits in the long-haul, heavy transport and construction segments, expand the after sales, parts and service market potential and to help build a future business landscape through its electric and autonomous transport solutions.

"To achieve our objectives, [we] aim on continuing to deliver on a premium Volvo Trucks customer experience with more up-time and ultimately more productivity for them," he said.

Hörberg, who took the helm of the Southern African operation on July 1 after a five-year stint as vice-president of Volvo Peru, has 20 years of experience for Volvo Group in emerging markets.

He said management and staff of Volvo Group Southern Africa had laid a good foundation to build on, including retaining the brand’s number one overall position in customer satisfaction for a consecutive third quarter.

According to the latest Scott Byers report, Volvo Trucks has regained its number one position in sales, maintained first position in parts and second in service delivery for the second quarter of 2018.

Hörberg said a testament to being number one in sales is enhanced by the high demand for the FH series, specifically the Volvo FH440 6x4 Truck Tractor which was SA’s bestselling heavy-duty truck in 2017.

"The transport industry plays a crucial role in the development of our society and its economy. However, it also accounts for a significant portion of the emissions that have adverse effects on our climate and our environment. We are part of this problem and are determined to be part of the solution." said Hörberg. To this end, he said, the company is making progress in energy efficiency and alternative fuels, the most recent being the launch of the Volvo FL and FE electric trucks.

Volvo Trucks will enhance its presence in SA by offering youth employment and apprenticeship programmes, education programmes and traffic safety initiatives and Driver Training programmes, said Hörberg.