Volvo Construction Equipment North America, Asheville, N.C., announced that it has purchased approximately 81 acres of land in north Buncombe County for the development of a new customer center.
Plans for the new Volvo CE North America Customer Center include the building of a 20,000-square-foot training and event facility for the company’s dealers and customers, and the development of a new equipment demonstration area that will encompass approximately 25 acres. The demonstration area will be landscaped to match actual jobsites for job-simulation demonstrations of the equipment. Ground breaking of the new site is scheduled for January 2008 with completion of the new center to be in the fourth quarter of 2009.
“The acquisition of this property and the planned construction of the new Volvo Construction Equipment North America Customer Center demonstrates Volvo’s continuing commitment to the construction equipment market in North America,” said Dan Snedecor, manager, sales training, Volvo CE North America.“This facility will combine the functions of technical and sales training with customer and company dealer visits, as well as large-scale events such as the industry-acclaimed Volvo Days.”
Presently, the company’s training and equipment demonstrations are conducted at its sales and marketing headquarters in Biltmore Park, Asheville, and at its current demonstration center near Weaverville. The latter was developed in 1991. Several thousand equipment operator-students have been trained annually at the facilities. It is expected that as many as 3,000 students will be trained each year at the new complex; visits by customers and dealers will probably reach more than 1,000 per year as the company’s business grows.
This is the second major expansion by Volvo CE in Asheville in the past 12 months. In June of 2006 the company announced a $25 to $50 million expansion of its manufacturing facility in Asheville to build excavators and excavator and wheel loader cabs. In addition to expansions in Asheville, the company recently acquired the road machinery division of Ingersoll Rand. Sales and marketing of the road machinery products will be conducted from the Asheville offices for the North America market.
Volvo CE has been building construction equipment in Asheville since the early 1980s when Clark Equipment, which began building equipment for the construction industry there (Skyland) 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.
Employment in Asheville at the manufacturing facility and the sales and marketing headquarters is approximately 500.Sales of construction equipment in the North America market for the company in 2006 were approximately $1.4 billion.