EXCLUSIVE: Paccar to build DAF trucks in Australia

By: Steve Brooks


Vehicles to be assembled from kits with scope for custom engineering later

EXCLUSIVE: Paccar to build DAF trucks in Australia
Paccar Australia managing director Andrew Hadjikakou. DAF will next year have its own assembly line alongside Kenworth in Paccar’s Bayswater (Vic) factory.

 

In a move sure to further strengthen its historically staunch commitment to Australian manufacturing, Paccar Australia will start assembling DAF trucks at its world-class Bayswater, Victoria, manufacturing facility in the second half of 2018.

During an exclusive interview soon after presenting the 60,000th Australian-built Kenworth to Wickham Freight Lines, Paccar Australia managing director Andrew Hadjikakou revealed DAF trucks will be built from around August onwards.

"The local assembly of DAF trucks has been a discussion point within Paccar for the last few years, particularly as we’ve started to see our DAF volumes increase," Hadjikakou says.

"We recently received approval from our parent company to go ahead with plans to assemble DAF trucks on a dedicated line in the same factory where we build Kenworth.

"This is a great indication of the foresight and faith of our parent company, to invest in DAF’s future here, utilising the skills and facilities of Baywaster and its people.

"It makes perfect sense to do this, to employ the skills and quality workmanship of our employees and further utilise the world-class engineering and production facilities of our Bayswater plant."

Paccar has been building trucks at Bayswater for 47 years and the introduction of DAF to the factory’s throughput is a significant initiative to ensure the acclaimed facility’s viability for at least the next 47 years. 

While declining to offer specific model details, Hadjikakou explained: "We will certainly be forthcoming with more details when it’s appropriate but for now I can confirm we will start off with trucks assembled from kits and as things progress, we will move further into the custom engineering processes that Paccar is so well known for."

Choosing his words carefully, he continued, "Local assembly provides us with opportunities to develop higher levels of customisation in areas such as chassis lengths, fuel and AdBlue capacities, different suspension options, and other elements to further our commitment to meeting customer demands and the specific requirements of Australian applications.

"DAF is already a good truck but there’s no doubt local assembly will make it a more customised truck for Australia."

Asked about the prospect of changes to the powertrain, particularly power ratings above the current peak of 510hp (380kW), an adamant Hadjikakou says simply: "We will be sticking with Paccar engines."

Local assembly will also provide many opportunities to reduce costs.

"Assembling DAFs at Bayswater means we don’t pay tariffs on full imports and that, of course, makes the truck a more cost-effective product," he says.

"Further to that, we don’t have to pay as much in transport costs compared to shipping a fully built-up unit.

"This is a great initiative by Paccar and it can only be a good thing for DAF and Australia."

 

 

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