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Volvo CE mark two decades in Changwon

Changwon celebration

Volvo Construction Equipment celebrate 20 years of excavator development in Korea

VOLVO Construction Equipment are currently enjoying the effects of a strong global market, much of it driven by the success of the company’s booming excavator product line, so it was perhaps fitting that Volvo CE should this week celebrate two decades of excavator production at their Korean manufacturing facility in Changwon.

At an event at the factory, Volvo CE’s president, Melker Jernberg, thanked the 2,200 employees, business suppliers and customers for their commitment over the last two decades, and highlighted the importance of excavators to the future success of the company.

Volvo CE acquired the construction equipment business of Samsung Heavy Industries at a difficult time for the Korean economy. Shaken by the after-effects of the Asian financial crisis, the outlook was far from certain.

However, since the acquisition Volvo CE have surpassed their original objective to triple production – today production is four times higher, whilst profitability has jumped five times.

‘The foundation of Volvo CE Korea 20 years ago is regarded as one of the most successful acquisitions in Volvo’s history,’ said Mr Jernberg. ‘Not only did it boost South Korea’s economic credibility at a time of global financial uncertainty, but it established Volvo CE’s position as a market leader in excavator production.

‘Since that time, we have grown the business to unprecedented levels with innovation, technology and productivity at the heart of our operations.’

Volvo CE now export excavators to 120 countries worldwide from their Changwon plant, a factory that accounts for more than half of the company’s global excavator production. As of June 2018, the plant had produced 200,000 excavators, and exports have surged 10-fold since 1998.

SungMo (SM) Yang, vice-president of the excavator business platform at Volvo CE and country management team leader of Volvo CE Korea, said: ‘The Changwon plant has demonstrated remarkable growth, firmly establishing itself as a stable and leading global manufacturer in an ever-changing construction equipment industry.

‘Thanks to 20 years of innovation, an outstanding workforce and continued co-operation with local suppliers, we are set to continue this growth well into the future.’

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