Volvo has announced it will be building a new headquarters in Wacol, Brisbane, with the project expected to generate job opportunities for 300 construction workers in Queensland.
The $30 million facility, measuring 32,500 square metres, is part of the Metroplex Westgate business park and will include a truck dealership.
According to Volvo, 320 employees are relocating to the headquarters once it’s complete. South West News reports that the manufacturer already has five other sites in Wacol, which collectively employ 550 people.
Volvo Group President and Chief Executive Officer Martin Lundstedt flew to the Brisbane suburb to assist in turning the first sod on the new HQ. He also met with personnel from Volvo’s local assembly plant, as well as the company’s senior executive management teams in Australia.
“Wacol is the largest truck assembly plant in Australia, and its dedicated workforce has enabled Volvo Group Australia to become the largest truck-builder in the country,” the Courier-Mail quoted him as saying.
“Australia is highly valued by Volvo trucks and our investment will build on the tremendous success we have enjoyed here in recent years.”
The news is likely to be encouraging for automotive apprentices in Queensland, particularly as many other big-name manufacturers have announced they are pulling out of the country in recent years.
Volvo commits to Australia
Volvo revealed that its global car sales climbed 15.2 per cent in February 2016, when compared with the same month the previous year. Volumes were up in all regions, although the US saw the biggest jump in demand.
Mr Lundstedt said he knew that automotive investors were withdrawing from Australia; however, he confirmed Volvo’s business in the country remains lucrative.
The CEO is based in Sweden, and he claimed the Scandinavian company is at the forefront of automotive manufacturing, despite its relatively small size, because of its engineering strength.
“Australia is on the other side of the world and it is not a matter of us needing to be here. But we want to be here to serve our customers,” he stated.
Mark Goodsell, Australian Industry Group National Manufacturing Director, told South West News that he welcomed Volvo’s decision to base its national headquarters in Queensland.
He said the facility, which is scheduled to open in 2017, shows Volvo is confident about the state’s manufacturing industry and is keen to provide local jobs to Queenslanders.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator