Volvo Construction Equipment’s Dealer Advisory Council from North America recently met with members of Volvo’s senior leadership at the company’s headquarters in Belgium and at a factory in Germany. On the agenda was growth beyond the recession, following the difficult economic crisis from which North America is still struggling to emerge. A major focus of the meeting was the increased production that will arise from the $100 million investment in Volvo CE’s Shippensburg, Pa., facility.
The council, which meets twice a year in North America to discuss the business climate in each dealer’s respective territory, comprises 10 American and Canadian dealers, appointed by Region North America president Göran Lindgren. Part of the dialogue of this meeting involved time with CEO Pat Olney and executive vice president sales and marketing Eberhard Wedekind.
“The most important thing was for North American dealers to see that Volvo CE is ready and able to grow rapidly — because we need our dealers to grow along with us,” said Sam Wyant, Volvo CE North America’s vice president of sales through independent dealers, who was present at the meeting. North American dealers need to prepare for the increased production that will arise from the increased investment. The Shippensburg facility will eventually produce 70 percent of machines sold in the North American market, Volvo CE said.
“This investment has multiple benefits, many of which will affect our North American dealers,” said Lindgren. “It will give them more flexibility in terms of lead times so they can react much more quickly to changes in the market. And buying equipment locally will also make them less vulnerable to currency swings.”
“We get a great deal accomplished together during events like these,” said Bill Golden of Golden Equipment, based in New Mexico and Colorado. “We discuss what we’re trying to accomplish so that we don’t end up with competing or overlapping strategies and policies. We’ve all struggled these last few years, and we’re all in this together for the future.”