The company was started in Malaysia in 1969 under Federal Auto Industrial Sdn Bhd and a year after the Swedish Motor Assemblies plant had begun operations in the country. Its first product brought into the country in that year was the complete built-up N Series truck, which was a tipper and heavy haulage transporter that also featured the three-point safety belt that was created by Volvo. It was one of the first trucks to have sported this important safety feature.
Over the next five decades, Volvo Trucks expanded its footprint through the launching of new truck models, opening of more dealerships across Malaysia, gaining more new customers and introduction of many key aftermarket services and activities to meet the needs of its growing customer base.
“Volvo Trucks is extremely glad to be celebrating our 50th anniversary in Malaysia this year. This is one of the most momentous milestones for us and we are very satisfied with everything that we have been able to accomplish over the past five decades. We also feel truly honoured to have the continuous support of the industry and our customers as they have made it possible for us to grow our business in this market,” said Mitch Peden, Managing Director, Volvo Malaysia.
Highlights of Volvo Trucks Heritage in Malaysia
Laying the foundation in 1969
This year marked the setting-up of Volvo Trucks’ operations in Malaysia and the introduction of the complete built-up N Series tipper and heavy haulage truck.
Establishing footprints in the 70s
The 70s paved way for a stronger establishment of the brand in Malaysia. The complete knocked-down assembly of the N Series truck was initiated and the 3-point safety belt equipped in all the units, making Volvo the first truck brand to emphasise safety. Over the course of this decade, Volvo Trucks made several breakthroughs including the introduction of the turbo engine used in the F Series truck. It also continued serving the country by delivering the Volvo F88 truck to the Malaysian Army, further cementing its importance in Malaysia.
Charting more milestones in the 80s
Volvo Trucks’ development into the eighties was built upon the introduction of new innovative technologies and features focused on improved efficiency, performance and safety. The company introduced the Euro 1 engine in the FL10 model and became the first truck brand to introduce the airbag as well as the 6x2 tag axle. With these products, business began to expand and had propelled the arrival of other new models to service the booming transport and logistics sector. Thus, Volvo expanded its portfolio with the arrival of F7, F10, F12, FL10, N10, N12 and NL12 truck models. It also delivered the N10 trucks to the local Fire Department and the first batch of N12 logging trucks to its customers in East Malaysia.
Driving progress in the 90s
The 90s saw the arrival of the Euro 2 engine and the latest FL10, FL12 and FH12 models and the introduction of its Blue and Gold Service Agreements to serve the customers’ demand for cost-effective preventive maintenance and repairs. In addition, Volvo also introduced its first Breakdown Service Team to ensure that its aftermarket support reaches its customers whereever they are. This was significant as Volvo Trucks continued to expand its network of dealerships across Malaysia.
Making impact beyond 2000s
The 2000s were significant for Volvo Trucks as it continued to build upon its successes and made bigger impacts in the industry. Realising there was an increasing demand for reliable heavy-duty trucks to meet industry needs, the Volvo FM9 and FM12 models were brought into Malaysia in 2002. This was followed by the launching of its Customer Care Centre (CCC) to provide 24/7 breakdown service support.
Playing a bigger role in driving productivity and enhancing road safety, the Volvo Driver Training programme and the annual Fuelwatch Challenge to promote safety and fuel-efficient driving behaviour among truck drivers were also launched.
The Volvo I-Shift transmission which uses road grade, speed, weight, and engine load to gauge the optimum time for switching gears to increase fuel efficiency was introduced as one of its latest advancement in trucking solutions.
As business expanded, Volvo Trucks’ appointed Dai Lieng Machinery Sdn Bhd as its first private dealer for Volvo in East Malaysia in 2008.
In the ensuing years, Volvo Trucks continued to expand its business and launched programmes to deepen its customer relationship. This included an investment of RM 75 million [TSHK1] [JO2] for its network enhancement strategy across both Peninsular and East Malaysia. This 3-year long project saw Volvo’s dealerships in Kuantan, Prai, Ipoh and Sibu being relocated to newer and bigger locations, a new Kota Bahru dealership established and other dealerships across the country upgraded with additional facilities. This also included the significant upgrading and transformation of Port Klang dealership into its flagship outlet, serving the needs of at least 2,000 Volvo trucks in the area.
In 2014, two new models joined the Volvo Trucks fleet with the launch of the new facelifted and improved Volvo FM and FMX to meet different industry applications. The following year, Volvo upped the ante by introducing to the market Volvo Dynafleet – its telematics system for customers to better manage their fleet and keep track of their trucks and drivers’ performance in real-time.
However, Volvo’s most significant product milestone was achieved when the premium flagship Volvo FH Series comprising two variants, FH13 and FH16, made their epic entry into Malaysia in 2017. With breakthrough innovations such as the ultra-low crawler gears and Volvo Dynamic Steering (VDS), the FH series offers superior handling, performance, safety, fuel efficiency and ergonomics and can withstand extreme heavy loads. The introduction of the Volvo FH was touted as setting a new industry benchmark for innovative trucking solutions in Malaysia.
More than just business and in line with its commitment to sustainable social and environmental responsibility, in 2018 Volvo Trucks carried out its biggest local corporate social responsibility project ever in Bario, Sarawak. This project saw Volvo Trucks funding an estimated RM500,000 to build a fire-fighting system for the Bario Asal Lembaa longhouse settlement and five eco-shelters along the 25-km distance Bario ancestral jungle trail to help improve the lives of the Kelabit community there.
And in the last two years, Volvo has continuously launched additional aftermarket services to ensure that its customers receive the highest global standards which Volvo has always adhered. These included the Volvo Service Planning, 24-months Fitted Parts Warranty and Extended Workshop Hours programmes to further boost customer satisfaction and long-lasting truck ownership experience.
“Volvo’s strategy revolves around making bigger difference through more sustainable, smarter and efficient transport solutions for the industry, customers and communities at large. Stongly guided by our three core values which are safety, quality and environmental care, Volvo Trucks has successfully achieved 50 years in Malaysia by continuously expanding our resources, products and service offerings and giving back to communities,” commented Peden.
He added, “Although today we are well positioned as the market leader in the heavy-duty European brand segment in Malaysia, there’s still a lot to achieve. The next 50 years will pose new challenges and we are thrilled and ready to embrace it as we remain focused on driving efficiency, innovation and excellence for all our stakeholders.”
For further information, please contact:
Irina Lau, Marketing Manager Volvo Malaysia
Tel: 03-5510 3300, Email: email@example.com