Mack Trucks is building early units of its new medium-duty MD Series trucks in a former comic book publishing plant near Roanoke, Virginia.
It will begin full production at the newly formed Roanoke Valley Operations begins Sept. 1. That’s because the coronavirus pandemic delayed the original start of production in July.
Mack, a unit of Sweden’s Volvo Group, invested $13 million to convert the plant to make its first medium-duty truck in nearly two decades. The MD Series takes grille and hood design cues from the Class 8 Mack Anthem highway model.
The new medium-duty trucks target the dry van/refrigerated, stake/flatbed, dump and tank truck markets.
The Class 6 has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 25,995 pounds. The Class 7 has a 33,000 GVWR. Both models come in a 4X2 configuration. They feature a sharp wheel cut for better maneuverability in tight urban settings. The bumper-to-back-of-cab measure is 103 inches.
Both models are exempt from the 12% federal excise tax (FET).
The company sees medium-duties as a stable market.
“It’s traditionally a pretty steady 90,000 to 100,000 trucks year over year in the U.S. and Canada with three-quarters of that being Class 6,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack senior vice president of sales and marketing.
The MD Series competes with the International brand from Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV), the Peterbilt and Kenworth nameplates from PACCAR Inc. (NASDAQ: PCAR) and Freightliner by Daimler Trucks North America. Mack’s sister brand, Volvo Trucks North America, does not sell medium-duty trucks.
“We’ve got orders to cover several months after production starts,” Randall said at the public reveal of the MD Series at the NTEA Work Truck Show in March.