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Volvo Trucks adding nearly 800 jobs as part of $400M Virginia plant expansion

Volvo VNL trucks roll off the assembly line at the New River Valley assembly plant in Virginia. Volvo Trucks has announced a $400M investment and expansion of the plant that will add 777 jobs over the next six years. (Photo: Brian Straight/FreightWaves)

Volvo Trucks announced a six-year expansion project at its New River Valley (NRV) manufacturing facility in New River Valley, Virginia. The $400-million investment will include 777 new jobs being created at the facility.

“The outstanding product line currently produced at NRV has strongly positioned Volvo Trucks for the future,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “This investment is another sign of our confidence in that future, and will help us prepare for even more exciting products – powered by both diesel and electric drivetrains – in the coming years.”

Expansion plans include the addition of a 350,000-square-foot building that will eventually house truck cab welding operations and expansion of the existing plant to improve material and production flow as well as improvements to paint operations. Additional upgrades will be made, including installation of “several state-of-the-art dynamometers for vehicle testing,” Volvo said.

“This investment will give our employees the tools they need to continue providing our customers the highest quality products,” said Franky Marchand, vice president and general manager of the NRV plant.  “We’re very grateful to the Commonwealth of Virginia, Pulaski County, and the citizens in this community for their continued support of our business and our people. Creating more value-added processes through these investments is good for our employees, our plant and our region.”

State and local assistance

Volvo will be eligible for a Virginia Major Employment and Investment grant of up to $16.5 million and other incentives, it was announced. Pulaski County, where New River Valley is located, is granting Volvo 222 acres of adjacent property to the current campus and $500,000 toward site improvements for the project.

 Volvo currently employs about 3,500 at the plant, according to the Roanoke Times, and covers some 1.6 million square feet, the largest Volvo truck manufacturing plant in the world.

Earlier this week, Volvo announced Active Driver Assist (VADA) 2.0. The collision mitigation system will be made standard in the new Volvo VNR and VNL models, and available on VNX models, later this year. The system enhances the original VADA platform by integrating radar and camera capabilities to help drivers maintain a safe following distance through alerts and improved traffic awareness, as well as emergency braking to reduce the risk of collisions.

“The Volvo Active Driver Assist technology we first introduced with Bendix Wingman Fusion in 2017 was a groundbreaking achievement for increased efficiency and safety through automation,” said Johan Agebrand, product marketing director, Volvo Trucks North America. “Continuing that partnership, we have improved the capabilities of this collision mitigation technology across the board and are confident that VADA 2.0 will further enhance safety for all motorists.”

First launched in 2017, VADA uses camera and radar to detect motorized vehicles and activate driver alerts and/or foundation braking. It includes automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, highway departure warning and braking, adaptive cruise control with cruise auto resume and driver awareness support.

VADA 2.0 will be available in the third quarter.

Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected]