New Volvo Construction Equipment president Martin Weissburg reaffirmed the company’s commitment to the rental industry in his first major address to the media at ConExpo in Las Vegas this week. Weissburg said now that Volvo CE no longer owns Volvo Rents there will be more opportunity for Volvo to approach larger rental companies as well as smaller independent firms in the channel he views as vitally important to Volvo’s success.

Weissburg added that numerous Volvo dealers are significant players in rentals and that the former Volvo Rents, now known as BlueLine Rentals, will continue to be an excellent customer for Volvo’s products.

Weissburg also took the opportunity to update the audience on the business rationale of Volvo CE’s ongoing acquisition of rigid and articulated hauler product lines from manufacturer Terex.

“In addition to organic growth there has also been an opportunity for Volvo CE to fill product gaps via acquisition,” he said. “Volvo CE’s existing portfolio is suited to the quarrying and light mining segment – but it has long been clear that there was a rigid hauler gap in the product line up. With sales in mining forecast to rise in the mid-term, now is a good time to enter the market and the Terex haulers – both rigid and articulated – have a proven design and an established market population. Volvo CE shall continue to produce and support Terex Trucks under the Terex brand, and will also continue to support Terex Trucks manufactured and sold prior to completion of the acquisition.”

Weissburg began the press conference by announcing that Volvo CE is ready to meet the challenges of Tier 4 Final/Stage IV legislation. Some of the new-for-2014 machines include the H-Series wheel loaders, E-Series excavators, G-Series articulated haulers and C-Series motor graders, not forgetting a host of emissions-compliant road machinery introductions. 

“This is a significant overhaul of the core product range and our Tier 4 Final-compliant products are now cleaner, more productive – and more fuel efficient than our already industry-leading position, in most applications,”  said Weissburg. He also highlighted that, in addition to award-winning products -- the ECR88D excavator recently won an iF Design Award -- the company’s operations were also contributing to emissions reduction. Volvo CE’s factory in the Swedish town of Braås, for example, is the company’s first carbon neutral premises and the first construction equipment production facility in the world to be powered entirely by renewable energy.

Volvo CE also showcased its futuristic compact excavator. The result of a collaboration between feted Swedish designer Monica Förster and Volvo CE’s R&D team, the concept machine – codenamed GaiaX – combines fully electric functionality with advanced human-machine interfaces and simple Scandinavian design. Weissburg also showed its remote controlled L350F model – the result of a collaboration with global toy giant LEGO Group.