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PACCAR ramps up production, staff
Demands on transport sector in COVID year leads to manufacturing boost at PACCAR
7 Aug 2020
By NEIL DOWLING
VICTORIAN truck-maker PACCAR Australia is recruiting 120 extra workers for its manufacturing operations as demand for its trucks soars during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The increase in sales for trucks has also been met with a boost in the number of staff at suppliers to PACCAR.
The new staff will take the manufacturing division of PACCAR, which builds various Kenworth truck models from scratch and also assembles a DAF model from a European kit, to about 820 people.
Demand is across the board for PACCAR’s heavy-duty trucks, with both Kenworth and DAF brands being sought after by delivery and long-haul operators. It is also spread across all industries, from agriculture to mining and delivery to logistics.
The demand is triggered by the substantial increase in the transportation of goods as the pandemic restricts air cargo travel and reduces the mobility of people in some sectors of the country.
PACCAR Australia managing director Andrew Hadjikakou said: “The current operating environment globally is uncertain, and especially in Victoria at the moment, but we are immensely proud we are able to employ more people and support economic growth within the local community.
“We have been manufacturing Kenworths in Australia for 49 years and the majority of our suppliers of component parts are small-to-medium businesses, many of whom are local to our factory.
“When we increase our production, they increase their production. The flow-on effect through our local supply chain means many more people are affected than just the people we are employing.”
Mr Hadjikakou added: “We hope our customers understand when they buy from us, as an Australian manufacturer, the choice they make positively impacts the lives of many Australians.
“The increase in staff is not only a great boost for the local economy, but it’s great for morale and we look forward to welcoming our new team members as they continue to join the business over the coming weeks.”
Mr Hadjikakou said that although the increase in employees for PACCAR and suppliers was positive, the effects of the pandemic had not left his company unscathed.
“Our operations team has worked to make manufacturing Kenworths and assembling DAFs at the plant in Melbourne safe for all workers according to the government’s guidelines on social distancing and maintaining health standards,” he said.
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