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Volvo introduces new VNL to Canadian market at Truck World – Truck News

Visitors to Truck World were greeted by the all-new Volvo VNL, the industry’s latest Class 8 truck to be launched.

“This truck is not just a facelift,” Johan Agebrand, director of product marketing for Volvo Trucks North America, said during a press conference. “This is a redesigned truck; 90% of all these parts are redesigned. We told our engineers, ‘Don’t use anything that we previously have done unless it’s worth using.’ They actually redesigned everything.”


The truck was built around five pillars: fuel economy; safety; driver productivity; connected services; and uptime. The end result, said Agebrand, is a truck that will deliver about a 10% improvement in fuel economy. Add in the benefits of those other pillars and he said customers can expect to see about $20,000 a year in added value.

About 7% of the fuel economy gains are attributed to aerodynamics, and the other 3% to powertrain enhancements. A faster-shifting I-Shift automated manual transmission is nearly impossible for a human to beat, Agebrand said, noting it can make shift decisions in less than 100 milliseconds. An F1 driver averages 200 milliseconds, he added.

“You cannot beat the I-Shift,” he insisted.

The line consists of the: VNL 300 flatroof day cab; VNL 440 midroof with 42-inch sleeper; the VNL 640 and 660 mid- and high-roof designs with 62-inch sleeper; and VNL 840 and 860 mid- and high-roof configurations with 74-inch sleeper. Yes, that’s smaller than the 77-inch sleeper offered on the legacy VNL, but Agebrand said it feels larger thanks to improvements in interior design and space optimization.

“You will not miss those inches,” he promised.

Trim packages

Several spec’ packages, and interior and exterior trim packages are offered to simplify the spec’ing process while ensuring optimized performance.

Steven de Sousa, director of service for Volvo Trucks Canada, said the new VNL is “The most connected Volvo we’ve ever built.” Remote programming and diagnostics have proven to reduce unplanned shop visits by 24%, he said.

A Volvo Connect portal allows fleet managers to make informed decisions, and a Blue Service Contract provides better predictability of maintenance and repair costs by offering all required services at predetermined monthly payments.

Matthew Blackman presentation
Mathew Blackman of Volvo Trucks Canada gives a market update. (Photo: Krystyna Shchedrina)

Market update

Matthew Blackman, managing director, Volvo Trucks Canada, gave a brief market update. While demand for new iron was muted to start the year, it is increasing, he said.

Volvo is forecasting an overall Class 8 truck market in Canada of 29,000 units. Volvo has commanded 14.1% of Class 8 sales in Canada so far this year, up from the 12.2% market share it achieved last year and better than the 10% it’s tracking at in the U.S.

Blackman said Volvo recently announced it will be adding a new factory in Mexico to complement its U.S. production and to meet demand for the new VNL.

“That’s really big news for us,” he said. “We’ve always been a North American-made truck and now we’re going to build additional trucks in Mexico. We are not shifting production. New River Valley [Virginia] is where we build our trucks, but because we have the truck everybody wants, we need more of them. This is really exciting news.”

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