Volvo sees 112% hike in Mideast sales for trucks with automated gearbox

Swedish truck maker says more customers opting for trucks equipped with I-Shift

PHOTO: The Volvo I-Shift is available for the Volvo FH, FM and FMX models. Credit: Volvo Trucks Middle East

Volvo Trucks Middle East has reported a 112% increase in sales of trucks equipped with its I-Shift automated gearbox for 2014, compared to the previous year.

The 12-speed gearbox has had a significant impact on Middle East sales, the truck maker said. The number of trucks sold in the Middle East that were equipped with the I-Shift contributed to 40% of sales last year, as opposed to 24% in 2013.

READ MORE: Truck & Fleet Middle East magazine

Since its launch in the region in 2006, the I-Shift has undergone hardware and software updates to improve performance. It was reintroduced on Volvo’s new FH, FM and FMX ranges in 2014.

The gearbox offers up to 7% fuel-efficiency saving, particularly when combined with other services such as Dynafleet, Volvo’s telematics solution.

In addition, the I-Shift also provides high comfort for drivers, said Ralf Lind, Product Manager at Volvo Trucks Middle East.

“The I-Shift’s intelligent electronics constantly monitor factors like road grade, speed, weight, and engine load to help keep the truck in the most fuel-efficient gear possible. This technology allows drivers the safest, most efficient, informed and comfortable driving experience possible,” he noted.

During the handover process of trucks equipped with I-Shift, fleet managers and drivers receive extensive training on how to use the gearbox in an optimal manner, Lind added.

Khalil Shir Mohammed, UAE driver training manager for FAMCO, Volvo Trucks’ dealer in the UAE, said the I-Shift also helped drivers avoid common mistakes associated with manual transmission and focus on driving instead. In addition, it reduces wear and tear on components like the clutch and brake pads, he noted.

“In the past customers preferred a very basic and all mechanical truck, [but] we are now selling more and more I-shift equipped Volvo FMX models for heavy construction, and I can assure you that our customers are very satisfied.”

READ MORE: Truck & Fleet Middle East magazine

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