Since 1967, the Volvo Trucks story in the UK and Ireland market has been one of resolute focus on the company’s core values of quality, safety and care for the environment. For over forty years, Volvo Trucks has offered transport operators in the UK and Ireland a wide choice of vehicles and support products that demonstrate those values. Today, the company focuses on delivering a total transport solution to operators based on quality and customer service. With the cost of fuel continuing to escalate, at Volvo Trucks we know that our customers have to make every drop of diesel count. That’s why we and our Dealers work closely in partnership with transport operators in the UK and Ireland to deliver long-term fuel savings and the environmental benefits of lowered emissions.
In the beginning Volvo Trucks has been selling trucks in the UK and Ireland since 1967 when Jim Keyden and Jim McKelvie’s company, Ailsa Trucks Ltd., became the sole Volvo Truck and Bus concessionaire for the region. Jim Keyden ‘Leading British Industrialist’ and Jim McKelvie a successful haulier both believed that the market was ready for a quality product with a higher level of support than the competition offered at the time. The company was originally based at Barrhead, Glasgow and sales quickly grew from 165 trucks in 1967 to reach their 1,000th in 1970. In 1972, they took over a former military depot site of 75 acres (30 hectares) at Redburn, Irvine, Scotland. The plant received built-up vehicles from Gothenburg and assembled chassis such as multi-axle rigids and tippers for the UK market. The success of the venture was aided by the higher standard of equipment in the cabs, coupled with the availability of parts from dealerships on Sundays. These features were of a considerable attraction for owner-drivers, who formed a large proportion of the early buyers. The same year the 5,000th Volvo truck was sold in the UK and Volvo acknowledged the market’s potential by acquiring a majority shareholding in Ailsa Trucks. Volvo Trucks also achieved leadership of the UK Heavy Truck (28 tonnes +) market for the first time.