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August 16, 2020 |
Mack Trucks’ new Roanoke County factory is the culmination of a once-secret expansion project that will mark the region as a truck manufacturing center and create hundreds of jobs.
Volvo Group of Sweden chose to set down roots a second time in Southwest Virginia by locating its medium-duty truck plant in Glenvar, 40 miles from the group’s heavy-duty Volvo truck plant in Dublin.
It became the 13th truck manufacturing plant in the United States when it opened July 27 at a cost of $13 million, according to data from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority. Virginia is ranked the fourth-largest state in the country for truck manufacturing employment, the partnership said. The new factory will only add to those numbers.
Employment is expected to reach 250 in February, said Mack spokesman Chris Heffner.
Mack sold a medium-duty truck at one time, but did not in 2018. It was a gap in offerings that the company decided needed filling and that the time was right. It received plenty of help from jobs-hungry economic developers once the project shifted into gear.
The new Macks are available in either class 6 or class 7, a designation that’s governed by the maximum loaded weight of the truck. Cummins makes the diesel engine used — it’s fire-engine red — while Allison makes the transmission.
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