The truck manufacturer says rigs sold in the United States, Canada and Mexico will be available only with Cummins or Volvo engines, effective with 2002 model year vehicles.
Available engines for Volvo trucks will range from 250 horsepower to 600 horsepower, with displacements from seven to 15 liters. Volvo will supply 7- to 12-liter engine models, and Cummins will supply its ISM, N14, ISX and Signature engine models.
Volvo also said it plans to increase the range of Cummins engines available in the Volvo VN Series, Volvo VHD- and Xpeditor models with the release of the Cummins ISL by October 2002.
Heavy-duty diesel engine makers are currently designing new engines to meet the more stringent 2002 federal exhaust emissions regulations. As a result, developers are being challenged to make sure any effects on vehicle performance are minimal. One goal of the alliance is to make the transition to 2002-certified engines seamless for customers.
Beyond the looming technical hurdles, dramatic reductions in used-truck values over the past year have challenged truckers. Truck operators are being forced to keep trucks longer than had been normal in the past decade. This places a greater premium on durability and reliability to keep operating costs from skyrocketing as the trucks age.
"Many of today's popular trucks were developed in the '90s to minimize capital cost for the first owner while being operated in high-mileage applications during the first three to four years," says Volvo President and CEO Marc Gustafson said. "This fact has been recognized by used-truck buyers, and values on these products have plummeted. As a result, customers in this new millennium are demanding products that provide absolute reliability when purchased new or second hand."
Volvo dealers and Cummins distributors will coordinate their distribution and support strategies to service Cummins engines in Volvo trucks. The two companies' distribution networks will work together to be able to meet any increase in demand for service and repair requirements due to the expected aging of the industry's fleet. In addition, Petro: Lube facilities will offer maintenance and light repairs.