Mack, Volvo Reorganize, Autocar Expands

To streamline its North American operations, Volvo Global Trucks, Gothenburg, Sweden, has restructured two important operating units, Allentown, Pa.-based Mack Trucks Inc., and Greensboro, N.C.-based Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) Inc.

Under terms of the reorganization, Mack and VTNA have kept their headquarters and several independent functions including manufacturing and finance efforts separate. Eight other areas were combined to maximize both units' operating efficiencies, according to Volvo Global Trucks.

Those areas include legal, customer engineering, dealer development, parts sales and marketing, information systems/technology, human resources, communications and customer satisfaction. Both Mack and VTNA will operate as individual units but will report to Michel Gigou, VTNA president and CEO.

“We have two big trucking companies that are buying trucks from the same vendors, so we just combined our functions,” says Randy Bolinger, senior public relations manager for VTNA. With the restructuring, Bolinger says, “Both organizations will reflect the same kind of structure, and each will be able to provide better support with a common support group.”

For example, Bolinger notes that one human re-sources function can support both units. The changes, he adds, mostly have occurred in areas where the customer will not notice that any reorganization has taken place. “It is a completely seamless [transition],” he says.

Since the re-organization late last year, the following vice presidents have been named to head each combined support function: Terrence C. Grube, legal department; Göran R. Gustaffson, customer engineering; Sam Johnston, dealer development; Rikard Jonsson, senior vice president of parts sales and marketing; Marc J. Kalbermatten, information systems/technology; Mark T. McLaughlin, human resources; John Mies, communications; and Harold W. Wiegel, customer satisfaction.

The reorganization is due, in part, to changes mandated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Last year, to complete its acquisition of Renault V.I./Mack, the DOJ ordered Volvo to sell its Xpeditor line of Class 8 low cab over engine (LCOE) trucks.

Autocar LLC, Union City, Ind., a subsidiary of Grand Vehicle Works (GVW) Holdings LLC, Highland Park, Ill., now owns the Xpeditor line, featuring the WX and WXLL models. Autocar was formed in July 2001 when parent company GVW purchased the Autocar name and the Xpeditor line from VTNA. “We were fortunate enough to be able to buy both the name and the line from Volvo,” says Bob Enright, president of Autocar. “[Both are] steeped in tradition and bring a lot with them.”

Autocar has since launched a dealer network with Houston-based Lone Star Truck Center; the Oakland Truck Center, Oakland, Calif.; the Chicago Truck Center, Chicago; and General GMC and Volvo Trucks, Palm Beach, Fla., to market the Xpeditor line and continue its efforts on niche markets that use LCOE trucks.

Most recently, the company delivered 33 Xpeditor trucks with C Gas Plus low-emissions, 8.3-liter natural gas engines from Cummins Westport Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to Fair-field, Calif.-based Solano Garbage Co., a unit of Republic Services Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

According to Enright, Autocar will remain focused on the waste industry and “service the customer base.”

For now, the Xpeditor line is being manufactured on a contract basis by Volvo Trucks at its New River Valley facility in Dublin, Va. The agreement will continue until Autocar builds and opens its own factory, which it plans to do by Aug. 2003.