Volvo Trucks Gives Customers Unforgettable Experience with Custom-Built VHD Pickup

The Volvo Trucks New River Valley manufacturing plant just got a little more interesting. Customers and other visitors can now experience a fully equipped Volvo VHD – in modified pickup truck form.

The bright orange, one-of-a-kind Volvo VHD chassis has a full-size crew cab and a pickup truck bed.  The four-door, five-seat vehicle is powered by an EPA 2010-certified 500-hp Volvo D13 engine and features an I-Shift transmission.

Designed and built by a team of engineers and production operators at the New River Valley plant, the truck is an example of Volvo’s innovation and craftsmanship.

“Volvo is known for high quality and innovative technologies,” said Patrick Collignon, vice president and general manager at the New River Valley facility.  “The VHD pickup shows the depth of our capability and versatility, from the engineering to the design to the craftsmanship.”

Collignon added that the team of Volvo engineers and production operators behind the VHD pickup is proof of what a talented workforce can accomplish. 

“The New River Valley region has the workforce, the academic centers and the communities to support Volvo and our commitment to innovation,” he said

In addition to showcasing Volvo’s industry-leading ingenuity, the VHD pickup is a powerful sales tool.  The vehicle makes getting around the large New River Valley site unforgettable for customers and visitors.  They get a first-hand sense of Volvo truck comfort and performance as they tour the facility or are transported to and from the local hotels and airport.

“We spend a lot of time educating customers about our technology – how it works and the value it brings,” said Ron Huibers, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Volvo Trucks North America.  “But explaining how impressive the I-Shift technology is, for example, doesn’t replace the driving experience.  The new VHD with I-Shift pickup allows people who are not professional drivers to experience the technology for themselves.”

In addition to providing an unforgettable ride-and-drive option for customers and visitors to the Volvo New River Valley plant, the VHD pickup will be an eye-catching attraction at trade shows, parades and other special events.  With a cab height of 11 feet, the VHD truck dwarfs a conventional pickup.  The roof of a Ford F-150, for example, reaches just under the side mirror of the VHD pickup.

“This truck is like a pickup that’s been seriously pumping iron,” said Collignon.  “Everyone who sees it wants a photo. It will be a great addition to Volvo events.”

A custom-built Volvo VHD pickup truck adds an innovative twist to the Volvo experience. The vehicle provides a new ride-and-drive option for customers and visitors to the Volvo New River Valley plant and will be showcased at trade shows, parades and other special events.

Volvo Trucks North America’s operations and products are guided by the company’s three core values:  Safety, Quality and Environmental Care.  The Volvo VN and VHD trucks are assembled in the United States at the New River Valley Plant in Dublin, Virginia, while Volvo engines for North America are assembled in Hagerstown, Maryland. Both plants are certified to ISO14001 environmental and ISO9001 quality standards.

Volvo Trucks North America is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction equipment, drive systems for marine and industrial applications, aerospace components and services, and one of the world's leading producers of heavy-diesel engines (9-16 liter).  The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. The Volvo Group, which employs about 96,000 people, has production facilities in 19 countries and sells their products in more than 180 markets.  Volvo Group sales for 2009 amounted to approximately $29 billion.  The Volvo Group is a publicly-held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden.  Volvo Shares are listed on Nasdaq OMX Nordic Exchange and are traded OTC in the U.S.

December 9, 2010

For further information, please contact John Mies, Volvo Trucks North America, phone 336-393-4300, email