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AUSTRALIA’S second-biggest truck manufacturer, PACCAR, has increased production above 2018 levels and is looking to employ about 100 additional staff on top of the 120 employed in July as truck demand continues to rise.

PACCAR Australia, which doesn’t reveal production numbers, said the 2018 levels were the highest since before the GFC with Kenworth responsible for the increase.

Company marketing manager Kate Sykes told GoAutoNews Premium that PACCAR is also increasing production of DAF trucks.

“We have more than tripled our local DAF production from when we started assembling the brand at Bayswater in 2018,” she said.

The company is currently recruiting for more personnel for the factory and in the head office departments in Melbourne. It employed 120 people in July for the Bayswater factory in Victoria.

It is also completing a $40 million site expansion at its factory which is scheduled to be open next year.

PACCAR Australia managing director Andrew Hadjikakou said the increase in staff and production was “great news for local manufacturing”.

He said the direct employment of additional staff flowed on to new jobs for many of PACCAR’s suppliers.

“Being a proud Australian manufacturer with a predominantly Australian supplier base means we are not suffering some of the constraints of overseas component supply,” he said.

“Australians are patriotic and are showing that supporting Australian manufacturing is important to them.

“The increase in production reflects the work carried out across the business in managing the restrictions and challenges we have faced this year, particularly in Victoria.

“I am proud of the dedication and enthusiasm displayed by all PACCAR Australia employees, our dealers and suppliers in ensuring we keep delivering world-class Kenworth and DAF trucks while adhering to government guidelines on social distancing and maintaining health and safety standards.”

Mr Hadjikakou said the company was entering its 50th year of manufacturing Australian-made Kenworth trucks and that the increase in production of Kenworth and DAF trucks provided a positive outlook for the future growth of both brands.

PACCAR – which originally stood for Pacific Car and Foundry Company – designs and manufactures light, medium and heavy vehicles under the Kenworth, DAF and Peterbilt brand names. It also designs and manufactures diesel engines, provides financial services and information technology, and distributes truck parts related to its principal business.

By Neil Dowling

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