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Saudi built Volvos arrive in Oz

Volvo FH models, built in Saudi Arabia under Australian supervision, are being imported to meet Australian market demands

A sharp-eyed visitor to Volvo HQ in Brisbane has spotted a batch of trucks believed to be the first of a significant number of fully built-up FH models imported from Volvo’s factory in Saudi Arabia.

Following questions from sister publication OwnerDriver several months ago, Volvo Group Australia chief Martin Merrick confirmed, “Volvo Group Australia is supplementing the supply of locally manufactured vehicles with CBU (completely built-up) units from Sweden and Saudi Arabia.”

While further commenting that Volvo’s Wacol factory in Brisbane had, “experienced severe supply chain disruption during 2021,” Martin Merrick steadfastly refuted suggestions that the fully imported trucks might impact the current and future viability of the Wacol production plant which this year celebrates 50 years of truck production.

Saudi-built Volvo - Pic 1.jpg

“Volvo Group is completely committed to the future of Australian manufacturing and of our Wacol factory,” he said.  

“The intent of this (fully imported) strategy is to meet unprecedented market demand during 2022,” Merrick continued, adding that this is not the first time VGA has looked to overseas factories for support during times of booming demand for trucks.

“This has always only been a temporary supplementary strategy. Our preference will always be to prioritise local manufacturing.

“In the case of Saudi-built trucks, components from Australian suppliers have been shipped to that plant and we have Australian staff on the ground there providing assistance,” he remarked.

The trucks photographed here are all FH 540 (13 litre) models and according to one source, build quality meets all VGA standards.

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