Volvo Unveils I-Shift for Mexican Market

Posted in: Business Factoring News, Freight Bill Financing News, Freight Factoring News, Freight Hauling Financing, Freight Hauling News, Trucking Finance News, Trucking Financing News- Nov 22, 2013 No Comments

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Volvo Trucks announced that one of its largest Mexican fleet customers has become the first in this nation to begin using its I-Shift automated manual transmission.

Transportes Monroy Schiavon has been testing the I-Shift for several months and expects to have 100 of the units on new VNL 630 models by early next year.

Volvo told reporters about the deal during a site visit to the fleet’s Mexico City headquarters Nov. 11. The truck maker, which wants to boost its presence in the Mexican market, formally announced the introduction of the I-Shift in Mexico here a day later on the eve of the biennial Expotransporte, the nation’s largest truck show.

“The Mexican market is critical to the success of Volvo Trucks in North America,” Göran Nyberg, president of North American sales and marketing, said at a Nov. 12 press conference.


Volvo is trying to grow its Mexican Class 8 market share, which has risen to nearly 10% this year from about 6% in 2011.

Matt Walsh, director of Volvo’s Mexico region, said the company had sold about 1,300 Class 8 tractors through October. The goal is to reach 15% market share by 2015, Walsh said.

Volvo has 36 dealer locations in Mexico and plans to add two before the end of the year.

Paccar Inc. is the market leader in the country, with more than half the market share; its Kenworth brand has made trucks in Mexico for more than 50 years.

Daimler Trucks North America makes Freightliners in Mexico, and Navistar Inc. has an International truck plant in the country. While those two OEMs export units to the United States, Volvo is alone in exporting heavy-duty trucks to Mexico from the United States.

Nyberg said Volvo is not planning to build trucks in Mexico at this time.

“We haven’t seen the benefits of moving any of our production to Mexico” from its plant in Dublin, Va., Nyberg said.

At the press event, executives with TMS, the Mexico City-based truckload carrier, said they were adopting the I-Shift transmissions because they are more fuel-efficient and drivers can handle them more easily than manual transmissions.

“We are seeing better fuel economy,” said Raúl Monroy Otero, director of back-office operations.

Several other Mexican fleets have tested the I-Shift units, Volvo’s Walsh said.

“Carriers here want the same as their U.S. counterparts — a consistency in their fuel consumption,” Walsh told reporters at the press briefing.

With about 550 Class 8 units, TMS is one of Mexico’s largest fleets, said Laura Mandujano Valdés, its commercial director.

The fleet runs throughout Mexico and to the border zone with the United States, where it picks up and drops loads for its customers, including Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

TMS also has alliances with U.S. carriers, including Celadon Group, Schneider National, Con-way Inc. and Landstar System, Mandujano Valdés said.


She said the fleet has opted not to participate in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s pilot program that allows approved Mexican carriers to run throughout the United States beyond the 25-mile border zone because it does not want to lose its drivers to U.S. carriers.

TMS invests heavily in hiring qualified drivers and maintaining their health and safety status, she said, adding that it can take a month and up to $1,000 to hire a driver.

They can make the equivalent of about $30,000 a year, which is a good salary in Mexico, she said, and TMS’ driver turnover rate is about 25%, well below Mexico’s average rate of 60% to 70%..