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The first Volvo truck, assembled in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), rolled out of the Arabian Vehicles & Trucks Industry Limited (AVI) facility recently in Saudi Arabia
The AVI, joint venture between Zahid Tractor & Heavy Machinery Company Limited and manufacturer of heavy trucks Volvo Truck Corporation, has also commenced production in the facility located at the Industrial Valley.
According to the company, AVI’s state-of-the-art facility was designed by a Volvo/Renault Trucks project team comprising engineers and process owners from both brands. Implementing a new concept for an efficient and cost-effective truck assembly, the AVI facility will be one of the first in the world to assemble both Volvo and Renault trucks on the same line.
The new facility is fully air-conditioned and has been ergonomically designed. Tooling, fixtures, equipment, drive line, crane structure, special racking on the assembly line, ergonomically proven tightening tools, and different lifting and moving fixtures help keep the facility running at optimum performance, AVI sources said.
Chairman of the board of managers at AVI Wafaa Zawawi said, “The new AVI facility represents a significant breakthrough in the diversification of Saudi Arabia’s industrial capabilities and highlights Zahid Group’s role as a leading B2B group in the country.
“This facility also underlines Zahid Group’s commitment to developing local talent by providing employment, training and growth opportunities for the Saudi youth. With a current Saudisation rate in excess of 30 per cent, further employment opportunities for Saudi nationals will arise as the plant increases production to meet local demand.”
Zawawi went on to note that the working environment in AVI is excellent and he expected the new facility, with its well-crafted and ergonomic design, to enhance this.
He added that the decision to relocate the AVI facility from Jeddah to KAEC was driven by KAEC’s ability to provide a business-friendly environment, strong governance and fast-track employment opportunities.
KAEC Group CEO Fahd Al-Rasheed noted, “This is also a great day for KAEC since the start of production at AVI’s assembly plant truly fulfils the original concept of King Abdullah Economic City as a key driver in Saudi Arabia’s diversification into non-oil sectors, providing alternative sources of revenue and reducing reliance on imports.
“We are happy to see the first Volvo truck roll out from the assembly line, and share AVI’s pride that Saudi Arabian nationals are an integral part of this great achievement, giving full credence to the words ‘Made in Saudi Arabia’.”
According to Anders Olausson, V-P of Volvo Global Manufacturing, King Abdullah Economic City augers well for the future of the nation in that it combines a modern infrastructure and a professional work environment with attractive living.
Equally important, he added, was KAEC’s location on the Red Sea as a strategic advantage for AVI. The close proximity to the new sea port and road access to the rest of the country are essential for serving their local and regional markets.
“The designing the production processes and the general layout of new AVI facility are derived from the Volvo Production System, which utilises ‘Lean Manufacturing’ principles.”
Olausson went on to explain that various ‘Lean Tools’ would be applied in assembling the most sophisticated trucks in Saudi Arabia, thereby ensuring both quality and zero defects for customers.