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PACCAR plans truck plant expansion

Manufacturing success: PACCAR Australia managing director Andrew Hadjikakou announces plans to double the size of the company’s truck factory which has just started production of DAF prime movers.

DAF joins Kenworth at PACCAR factory as Australian truck industry booms

29 Aug 2018

PACCAR Australia plans to double the size of its truck-making plant at Bayswater, Victoria, over the next three years as the market for heavy trucks booms in Australia.
The announcement was made by PACCAR Australia managing director Andrew Hadjikakou when handing over the keys to the first Australian-made DAF truck to a customer in a ceremony at the factory which employs more than 1100 workers.
Although the company has sold imported DAF trucks in Australia for 20 years, it has now added local manufacturing, building DAF prime movers on the same production line as its top-selling Kenworth trucks that it has built for 47 years.
The PACCAR expansion is a shot in the arm for Australian manufacturing which has suffered the closure of the Ford, Holden and Toyota car-making plants, along with many suppliers, over the past two years.
By contrast, PACCAR says its local operation is not only viable but growing. It has added DAF production to cater for increased demand for the European brand which originated in the Netherlands 86 years ago.
PACCAR Australia says that over time the move to build DAF trucks locally will mean higher levels of customisation through local engineering input and greater cost savings through local parts sourcing.
Initially, the company is building 10 DAF CF85 trucks a month, which is small volume compared with the 300 Kenworth trucks it currently builds each month.
The 10 DAFs represents about a quarter of the brand’s monthly Australian sales. Most of the DAF line-up will still be imported from the PACCAR-owned Leyland factory in the United Kingdom, but the company has left the door open for further variants to join the locally manufactured line-up distributed through PACCAR subsidiary DAF Trucks Australia.
PACCAR Australia marketing services manager Kate Sykes told GoAuto that the move to double the size of the factory had been taken because the current two-shift production facility was at capacity.
She said the announcement had caused great excitement at the company, with staff looking forward to hearing how the expansion would proceed.
Ms Sykes said PACCAR had no plans to expand beyond its two current brands, meaning the production expansion would benefit Kenworth and DAF.
So far this year, heavy commercial vehicle sales are up 17 per cent, with heavy duty trucks leading the charge, up 32.4 per cent.
Kenworth sales have jumped an impressive 49.3 per cent, from 1039 sales to the end of July last year to 1551 in the same period this year.
DAF sales are more modest – 256 in the year to date – representing a 9.9 per cent rise.
PACCAR Australia, a division of American-based PACCAR Inc, says it is still working through the details of its planned expansion, and hopes to make further announcements soon.
“PACCAR Australia is committed to providing new investment and manufacturing capabilities in Australia, and this initiative is backed by our parent company, which sends a clear message to our dealer network and customer base that DAF Trucks Australia is here for the long term,” the company said in a statement.
The first DAF truck to roll down the production line was a CF85 510Hp prime mover delivered to long-term DAF customer Cahill Transport.
So far, PACCAR Australia has made more than 60,000 Kenworth trucks in almost five decades of local production. Apart from Australia, PACCAR-made trucks are distributed through New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
The Bayswater plant in Melbourne’s east becomes the fifth factory to build DAF trucks, with others in Holland, Belgium, the UK and Brazil.
PACCAR is one of three major Australian truck manufacturers, with Iveco making trucks in Dandenong, Victoria, and Volvo Trucks operating in the Brisbane suburb of Wacol.

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