Patricks Trucks

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sean sherry

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Hi Patrick I have understood that most Cars are Kit Cars , bits bought in from many sources .
Volvo Trucks ? .....Sydney Volvo Tour Buses ... Bodies made & fitted in China ?.. Chassis and running gear made where ??
 

Patrick_R

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Hi Sean.
This covers a bit about buses.

I can’t say I’ve ever seen fully imported buses with a Volvo powertrain, nearly all of the fully imported ones are Chinese made. They usually have a full American powertrain consisting of a Cummins Diesel, Eaton transmission and either an American Dana final drive, and steer axle or maybe a European ZF final drive and steer axle.
These are a completely finished turn key bus, all set to go straight to work.
I’m not saying they done exist, just that I have never seen one here, but I don’t have a lot of experience in this field.
The only way to identify them would be if the body builder puts Volvo badges on it.

In page 3 of the post above, this is how a Volvo bus starts it’s life in Australia.
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These chassis are fully imported from Sweden.
Then they go to a bus body builder here in Australia.
Basically they are built from scratch using the above chassis.
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All this being said, the Chinese buses are the majority of the tour buses and coaches in Australia because they are dirt cheap.
The reliability and durability of them is very poor and they don’t have a good reputation, but they keep selling.

Volvo (and Mack) trucks are Australian made in our factory at Wacol, just down the road from my head office.
675BD349-4735-44B4-9FA1-C9C8DBB3AEA9.jpeg

You mention kit cars Sean.
Haven’t seen these in Australia in years. Maybe there are some small builders here, but I’m not sure.
All cars are fully imported into Australia from various plants.
“Most” of our cars coming into Australia are from the various brands factories located in Thailand.
Nearly all of our top selling utes, and 4WD come from Thailand.
A lot of our Japanese branded cars also may not all come from Japan.
Even a lot of our European brand cars come from countries other than where their head office is located.
What I mean by that is that some VW that come to Australia may not be from their Wolfsburg factory. Some Mercedes Benz cars may not be from Stuttgart or Sindelfingen factories etc etc but are still fully imported.
 
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sean sherry

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Yes, Our W204 2010 C 200 was made in Sth Africa Had numerous Electrical Issues and a bad Engine Oil Leak from rear of Cylinder head. But has been ok since then .. The then Mercedes owned Dealer in Sydney stuck with it.. Now a very good car.
By Kit Cars I meant that all Cars have many bought in components . Most Automatic Transmissions are bought in .. a large component !
 

Patrick_R

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Oh, I see.
Glad you and the dealer stuck with it Sean.
Yes, not many manufacturers now have dedicated plants under their full ownership for major components.
They leave that to the specialists.
Not to mention if there is a problem, the manufacturer of the components carry the warranty in the long run.
 
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But that's not really that different to 50 years ago. Sure a few manufacturers had in house (nearly) everything, like MB, but Ford and GM (in the states, not to mention here) used eg Muncie, Borg Warner etc. transmissions, supplied rear ends and so on. All Japanese manufacturers were car assemblers in that sense (look at a 70s or 80s Mazda or Toyota and count the Mitsubishi "propeller" logos on most of the ancillaries and solenoids). Who made the "hearts" of our Benz engines? Pierburg, Bosch, [whoever else made carbies ;)] just the same as Audi, BMW, Opel and the other German marques of the era. Ditto ZF and Getrag for gearboxes (ok yes with the exception of MB).

What about suspension? Boge, Sachs, Bilstein, Eibach, H&R, Muhr & Bender; none are or were owned by a car maker, and in the UK it was even more pronounced with Lotus and the like designing the suspension for car makers who didn't even pen their own handling (*cough* right up to Tesla). Just like Porsche did in Germany, by the way, and had been since before the war - ok that was the man, not the company but you get my point.

For sure a lot of these "collaborations" were bespoke to the car involved, but to an extent they all used existing parts catalogues and adapted where required, as were all COTS parts adapted to some extent for all but the most backyard kit cars. Is a Caterham a kit car because nothing but the chassis and body are made by Caterham and you could assemble one in your garage to avoid tax but a Detomaso Pantera a real car because you couldn't buy that spec and tune Clevo, with that gearbox any other way, even though you could easily build an engine to the exact spec from the Ford Australia spares list and ZF made the same transaxle for quite a few cars? Detomaso didn't even build that body...
 
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sean sherry

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It’s nice to have you on board Mark.
Why is China made products labelled cheap... meaning poor quality... Everybody flocks to China because they manufacture at a lower coast.. You only want a $5 item and not a $10 quality product ? No problem we supply what the Market wants, You want a woven Carpet produced by Child Labour in Pakistan don't ask, as long as it is cheap and we can mark it up 1000% in a fashionable London Store
Lets get real about the World today....The hip pocket makes the decisions..
 

Patrick_R

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Sean,
I think the “cheap” & “poor quality” discussion would be different depending on who you talk to.
Not to mention cheap, and poor quality are not necessarily the same thing.

As mentioned, two of my nieces have MG’s on my recommendation.
They are certainly cheap (not so much any more though) and the quality of what they have is actually very good.
I can’t fault them, otherwise I wouldn’t have recommended them.
The value for money was outstanding.

For me, the Chinese buses I have had experience with when I worked for Eaton, were certainly cheap, and were definitely of poor quality.
That being said, they were very quick to rectify issues found and reported back to them.

All I can say to people is do your homework before deciding on any product no matter where it is manufactured.
 
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sean sherry

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Could not agree more... French Elegance advertised, Made in France ?
Always careful what I commit to Emails etc. No direct Names....
Chinese MGs like many other products Buy Market share to get established
 
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sean sherry

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Now Patrick I hope that this survey doesn't apply to Volve Electric Trucks..
The Volvo Polestar came last in reliability ...
 

BenzBoy

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Sean,
Polestar is a Chinese company owned jointly by Gheely and by Volvo Cars which in-turn is owned by Gheely.
Volvo trucks is an entirely different company owned by Volvo in Sweden. Volvo trucks also make Mack and Renault trucks.
Apart from the shared name there is no relationship. You will be able now to sleep nights.
Regards,
Brian
 
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Patrick_R

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Well said Brian, I have passed your details on to our VP of marketing 😊

However, if Polestar are getting bad reviews and have quality issues, this isn’t good considering they came out with all guns blazing and boasting the “Polestar” name which was Volvo’s very high rated road and race cars.

What I have been reading a lot about lately is one of the biggest Chinese juggernauts in the BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) world is BYD (Build Your Dreams) yes, funny-bad name 🙄

However the new to Australia Atto 3, seems to have the best of everything, a huge list of standard inclusions, top type electric motor and battery set up with a very impressive range, and it’s cheaper than the MG ZS EV.

I saw one today in Port Macquarie for the first time, and it is vey impressive to look at, and the fit and finish is first rate.
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Patrick_R

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I know right !!!! 😱

It seems along with the demise of the grille went all the other normal things associated with normal cars, like the normal interiors etc.
However we do need to keep up us old blokes.

It seems that along with electric technology comes a whole new design philosophy???
 

Patrick_R

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As we have been discussing batteries in cars in the “no way” thread,
Here is an interesting video on our BEV Volvo FH Electric.
Interesting it has a 450kW/h battery, and the BYD has a 60kW/h
Big trucks with big loads = big batteries.
In Australia we are now actively lobbying the Government to allow extra weigh carrying on our trucks.
We give them full safety systems, and zero emissions, we want 2-3000kg more legal weight carrying so the owner isn’t penalised with lower carrying capacity thus a less productive truck.

 
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sean sherry

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And Patrick is there room for Volvo and Tesla Semis..
Tesla's now running on USA Interstates ...
Or are they chasing Different Markets... Europe and the US
Long haul v short haul ???
 
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