Volvo Construction Equipment last week cut the ribbon on its $100 million expansion program at its Shippensburg, Pa., facility. In addition to the official opening of a new headquarters building for the Americas, the event also marked the start of wheel loader production at its new Shippensburg factory.

Joining Volvo CE President Pat Olney in the inauguration ceremony were United States Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Alan Walker and Swedish Ambassador to the United States Jonas Hafström, along with 1,000 employees and other distinguished guests, including RER.

The investment affirms the Volvo CE’s long-term confidence in the North American market and consolidates its North American operations onto one site. The opening of the new building also marks the successful relocation of the sales office from Asheville, N.C. to Shippensburg. Volvo also recently opened its Volvo Rents headquarters office nearby.

“This should serve as a very clear signal that Volvo CE is committed to this market and in a better position than ever before to offer our customers products that are made by Americans, for Americans,” said Volvo CE President Pat Olney. “Longer term, buildingmachines closer to our customers will have a positive impact for U.S.-based suppliers, who will gain more business; for customers, who will enjoy shorter lead times; and for Volvo CE, which will be less exposed to currency swings.”

Wheel loader production will initially start for the L60-L90 range of loaders.  “These machines are in high demand in North America. It’s easier to start up production of smaller machines and work our way up,” said Sean Glennon, vice president of operations at the Shippensburg facility. “The investment we make in these smaller models will allow us to eventually launch into the bigger machines and meet a wider scope of customer needs.”

          Volvo CE will also open a world-class customer center in the area in the first quarter of 2014, which will focus on customertraining and product support.

The Shippensburg facility has been making construction equipment for nearly 40 years. Volvo CE acquired the business from Ingersoll Rand in April 2007. A $30 million, 200,000-square-foot expansion was completed in June 2010 and included a new assembly hall and materials building. The office expansion, which opened in March, adds an additional 36,000 square feet and two smaller production buildings, which open in April this year, will provide a further 37,000 square feet, bringing the total size of the expanded facility to 650,000 square feet.  

Today, the site employs more than 1,000 employees from nearly 20 countries, together working in operations, technology, sales and marketing, and customer support.

In addition to wheel loaders, the Shippensburg facility also makes more than 50 models of road machinery, including soil and asphalt compactors, motor graders, pavers, screeds, and milling machines. Operations include welding, large machining, paint and assembly.