January 14, 1999

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Phil Romba
Volvo Trucks North America
(336) 393-3080
Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces Major Volvo Expansion in Pulaski
-Virginia emerges as automotive leader with $148 million investment, nearly 1,300 new jobs-

Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore yesterday announced in his State of the Commonwealth address to the Virginia General Assembly that Volvo Trucks North America will expand its Pulaski County assembly plant and add 1,277 new jobs for Virginians. The $148 million investment will allow the company to increase manufacturing capacity and add new support operations.

"This announcement confirms Virginia's emergence as a major force in the global automotive industry," Governor Gilmore said. "I was pleased to have personally worked with Volvo executives from the very early stages of this project and help bring this investment to the New River Valley. With this announcement, I am keeping my promise to ensure that rural Virginia benefits from the state's economic growth."

Volvo Trucks North America manufactures Class 8 trucks and tractors. The company leads the heavy truck industry in the areas of safety research and development, quality manufacturing processes and environmental care. Volvo Trucks also markets heavy-duty diesel engines, transmissions and rear suspensions. Headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, Volvo Trucks is an affiliate of Volvo Truck Corporation of Gothenburg, Sweden. The New River Valley facility has been producing heavy trucks since 1974 and currently employs 2,400 people.

"The Commonwealth of Virginia met our needs in every way," President and CEO of Volvo Trucks North America Marc Gustafson said. "We have been successful in the New River Valley for 25 years. Dedicated Virginians have helped our plant succeed. Now, due to Governor Gilmore's leadership and his team's pro-business attitude, Volvo will expand right here in Virginia and create more good jobs for the region."

Governor Gilmore approved a grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund in the amount of $3 million to assist Pulaski County with site preparation. He will also submit legislation to this session of the General Assembly to create the Virginia Investment Partnership, a program of performance-based incentives that will assist existing Virginia manufacturers, including Volvo, to grow and create jobs. Volvo qualifies for tax credits since they are located in a Virginia Enterprise Zone.

"Volvo's decision to reinvest in the Commonwealth is a great testament to our excellent transportation infrastructure, competent workforce and pro-business climate," Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal said. "This announcement solidifies Virginia's program to continue to attract automotive manufacturers and suppliers."

"We are thrilled that Volvo has decided to expand in Pulaski County," Chairman of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Joe Sheffey added. "We must first thank the dedicated Volvo employees who proved that their skills and work ethic are exceptional. We also appreciate the assistance and enthusiasm we received from Governor Gilmore in making this expansion become a reality."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the New River Economic Development Alliance and Pulaski County assisted the company with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

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