Volvo Trucks is buying Chinese truck maker JMC Heavy Duty Vehicle Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Jiangling Motors Co. Ltd., which includes a manufacturing site in Taiyuan in China’s Shanxi province. The objective is to start production of the new heavy-duty Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX trucks for customers in China by the end of 2022.
Volvo Trucks has been active in the Chinese market since 1934. During the last couple of years, the strong growth of logistics services, including e-commerce, has led to a surge in the sales of Volvo trucks in the country. In 2020, more than 4,500 heavy-duty Volvo trucks were imported and delivered to customers in China.
The operations in Taiyuan will include stamping, welding, manufacturing of cabs, painting and the final assembly of Volvo trucks. Within a few years, the plant will have the capacity to produce 15,000 Volvo trucks per year, with the potential to increase the capacity further.
Hydrogen: Not just for fuel cells
Canada’s Westport is collaborating with companies in Brazil and Austria to develop an internal combustion engine powered by hydrogen.
Brazil’s Tupy SA is a specialist in casting and machining of highly engineered structural components. AVL List GmbH of Austria is a specialist in development, simulation and testing in the automotive industry.
The collaboration aims to combine advanced material and casting technologies with the latest H2 ICE technology using high pressure direct injection.
The collaborators view hydrogen as promising for carbon-neutral heavy-duty transportation applications. Unlike fuel cell technology, hydrogen ICEs enable carbon neutral transportation using existing base engine technology. Powertrain efficiency will be a key success factor to ensure affordable hydrogen truck and bus solutions, they said.
First testbed results of this new joint development program are expected by early 2022.
Cummins is also developing a hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine.
New Briefs from Around the World
German-based DHL Global Forwarding predicts strong and sustained growth in cross-border road transportation in Southeast Asia, where the e-commerce sector is expected to grow 5.5% in 2021. The predicted upswing is also driven by the renewed growth in many of Southeast Asia’s leading economies, as manufacturing rebounds and companies regionalize and diversify their supply chains.
Volta Trucks has started engineering evaluation and development testing of the first prototype Volta Zero, an all-electric commercial truck designed for inner city logistics, in the United Kingdom. The industry newcomer plans to start full-scale production at the end of 2022. Volta plans a Europe-first strategy for its launch but plans to bring its trucks to North America a year or two later.
In South America, just over a year after the resumption of production and sales of trucks,markets are showing signs of strong and sustained growth. Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Colombia in the first half of this year grew by more than 50% compared with the same period last year. The performance was also better than the previous semester in 2019. Segments boosting truck sales include agriculture with record harvests, mining, parcel delivery, and transport distribution in general. Analysts’ outlook is for growth to continue for the rest of the year, with an estimated overall increase of around 50% compared to the total volumes in 2020.