Industry leaders within the transport sector attended a business summit to celebrate more than 50 years of international partnership between Volvo and the Hartshorne Group.

The event brought together key decision makers from across the Midlands with senior executives from the Swedish vehicle manufacturer, which appointed Hartshorne as a distributor of commercial vehicles in 1968.

The Hartshorne Group has since built a hugely successful Anglo-Swedish alliance with Volvo, with c. 22,000 commercial vehicles being sold via the Group in the UK.

Martin Cronin, Managing Director at Hartshorne Group, said: “We are extremely proud to have developed strong links with so many great businesses in the Midlands. These companies form the backbone of our economy; not only for the jobs and turnover they generate, but also for the vital role they play in providing services to other businesses. They are the heroes of the transport sector and we greatly rely upon their opinion and feedback. The summit was an opportunity to celebrate the last 50 years, whilst also discussing the future aspirations of our customers who have supported the Volvo brand.”

The summit was attended by Heléne Mellquist, President Volvo Trucks Europe; Per Carlsson, Global Senior Vice President of Strategy & Business Volvo Trucks; Robert Grozdanovski, Managing Director Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland; Lisa Ekelund, Chief Financial Officer Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland; and Ian Wrench Retail Development Director Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland.

The companies represented were as follows: Chris Hayes Haulage of Mansfield, HD Ricketts of Sutton Coldfield, JPE Aggregates of Wolverhampton, Pegasus Grab Hire of Stourbridge, Steve Benton Transport of Birmingham, and Summit Platforms of Smethwick.

Various topics for discussion included the importance of the transport infrastructure in the Midlands as a central hub for the UK, along with working towards a ‘greener’ UK, fuel economy and road safety.

The Volvo executives also personally presented new trucks to the commercial vehicle operators that attended the event, held at Hartshorne’s purpose-built £4m site at Erdington in Birmingham.

Mr Cronin added: “A number of the companies that attended are long-standing customers whilst others are relatively new to our brand.  Together we all continually strive to keep Britain on the move.  The transport sector accounts for around 5% of the economy and is a critical linchpin for the success of the UK.”

All the new Volvo trucks supplied through the Hartshorne Group are fully compliant with latest EU emissions standards, and were decorated in bespoke livery for each company. Hartshorne partners with its customers in order to promote road safety, whilst at the same time striving for a greener environment by boosting fuel economy through specialist driving techniques, combined with the latest technology.

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