U.S. production of the transmissions was made possible through an $8 million investment in the Hagerstown, Md., manufacturing plant to create a new assembly line, install the necessary equipment and train personnel. The investment also created 50 new jobs at the facility.
Assembly of the Mack mDrive automated manual transmission began recently at the Hagerstown powertrain facility, where Mack powertrain components have been assembled since 1961.
"Bringing mDrive assembly to the Hagerstown facility while also meeting the growing demand we've seen since the transmission's introduction in 2010 exemplifies our commitment to investing in what our customers need," said Kevin Flaherty, president of Mack Trucks North American Sales & Marketing.
More than a third of the highway trucks currently rolling off the assembly line at Mack's Macungie, Pa., truck plant feature the automated manual transmission, which is available on Mack Pinnacle model highway tractors. The mDrive is designed and engineered to work exclusively with Mack MP series engines as part of Mack's Pedigree Powertrain offering.
Volvo Truck's I-Shift
Sales of the I-Shift automated transmission have grown substantially since 2007, when Volvo became the first OEM to bring an integrated automated manual transmission to the North American market.
With the I-Shift, Volvo introduced innovative technologies such as a grade sensor, Hill Start Assist, skip shifting and Eco-Roll. The percentage of Volvo trucks sold with the company's proprietary transmission hit a record level of more than 40% in 2011 and has continued to grow throughout 2012. It is available exclusively with Volvo engines on VN model highway tractors.
"This is an important addition to our North American production capabilities and highlights I-Shift's tremendous growth since its introduction more than five years ago to the North American market," said Ron Huibers, president, Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing.
Volvo's I-Shift transmissions were previously assembled in Sweden and then sent to Hagerstown for adaptation to North American market requirements.