Volvo Construction Equipment last week announced that the company will begin building excavators, and excavator and wheel loader cabs at its Asheville, N.C., manufacturing facility. The company says it plans to initially invest $25 million with a possible additional $30 million over the next few years to increase its fabrication and assembly capabilities to meet growing requirements in the North American excavator market. Production at the nearly 400,000-square-foot facility will begin in mid-2007 for initial delivery of the machines to the United States and Canada markets.
The Asheville plant will build four of Volvo’s 11 excavator models — the EC160B, EC210B, EC330B and the EC360B.The manufacturing facility will continue to produce five models of the 10-model Volvo wheel loader product line. The new production project of excavators and machine cabs will add between 250 and 300 new employees at the company.
The project will not impact other Volvo excavator production operations at manufacturing facilities in Germany, China and Korea.
The production of Volvo excavators in Asheville will result in shorter product delivery lead time and greater customization flexibility for North America customers. Company officials estimate that delivery time of excavators to dealers and customers can be reduced by as much as 50 percent from present-day schedules.
“We are extremely pleased with the selection of Asheville as the North America home of the Volvo excavator,” said Denny Slagle, president and CEO, Volvo Construction Equipment North America. “The excavator market is very important for us and our dealers, and this move will greatly strengthen our position. The excavator business line is our fastest-growing product line and the continued development of the Asheville facility will enable us to meet the challenges of the market….”
Volvo CE has been building construction equipment at its Asheville location since the early 1980s when Clark Equipment, who began building for the construction industry there in 1977, and Volvo CE merged to form VME. In 1987 Volvo CE acquired the Clark interest and the company was re-named Volvo Construction Equipment in 1995.