Volvo, Mack to move transmission assembly to Hagerstown plant

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Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks on Wednesday, June 1, announced plans to bring assembly of their transmission products to the companies’ powertrain plant in Hagerstown, Md.

Volvo says that in order to meet growing demand for its I-Shift automated manual transmission, the company will make a $7 million investment to bring assembly of the transmission to the plant, with production scheduled for the third quarter of 2012. Volvo’s I-Shift transmission was introduced in the North American market in 2007, and the company says last year it reached a penetration of 26 percent of Volvo Trucks’ North American sales. Because it is only available with a Volvo engine, the transmission is helping to promote the company’s integrated powertrain approach.

The transmission currently is assembled in Koping, Sweden, and then sent to Hagerstown for adaptation to North American market requirements. The Hagerstown investment will include creation of a new assembly line, installation of new equipment and tooling, and employee training. Volvo says the new capacity will increase the Volvo Group’s global transmission footprint and will be the primary source for North America.

Mack said assembly of its mDrive automated manual transmission also will start at Hagerstown in the third quarter of 2010. The company introduced the mDrive in the first quarter of 2010 and says it sold out of the 500 units available last year.

The transmission, which also has been built in Koping and sent to the United States for North American adaptation, is designed and engineered to work exclusively with Mack MP series engines and is available on the company’s Pinnacle highway tractors.