Sales of the Volvo I-Shift reached record levels in 2012, with nearly one of every two Volvo trucks built in North America featuring the Volvo I-Shift. Göran Nyberg, president, Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing, made the announcement during the 2013 Mid-America Trucking Show.
“Introducing I-Shift as standard across our product lineup is an exciting development that reflects our confidence in its performance and the value it provides to our customers and their operations,” Nyberg said. “The Volvo I-Shift is a tremendous tool to help combat rising fuel costs and improve driver productivity and safety. I-Shift is also proven to help attract, train and retain drivers.”
Click here, or the image above, for a brief video about the Volvo I-Shift as standard.
Since its introduction in 2001, the Volvo I-Shift has significantly impacted the global truck market. Volvo has sold more than 330,000 I-Shifts globally, and we are currently building more than 80 percent of trucks globally with the I-Shift. Well over a decade of production experience has made Volvo I-Shift the world’s leading AMT.
Market share of the I-Shift has steadily grown since 2007, when Volvo became the first OEM to bring an integrated AMT to the North American market. In 2012, nearly 60 percent of Volvo-powered vehicles built also featured an I-Shift. Volvo was the first to offer multiple premium packages with the I-Shift, and the first to introduce innovative technologies like load and grade sensors, skip shifting and Eco-Roll™.
The 12-speed Volvo I-Shift is able to downshift and upshift in smaller, optimum steps – averages 28 percent – between gears compared with competitive transmissions, which average 37 percent steps between gears. This improves drivability and skip shifting. Integrated sensors identify truck load and road grade to place the truck in the right gear for the conditions for smooth, optimum shifts, extending clutch life and service intervals.
I-Shift also reduces wasted revs and boosts fuel efficiency by up to 1.56 percent when compared to an unproductive driver.
I-Shift is a central component to Volvo’s XE – exceptional efficiency – powertrain package, which further reduces fuel consumption by lowering engine rpm at a given vehicle speed, a concept Volvo calls “downspeeding.” Volvo’s XE packages downspeed the engine at cruising speeds by 200 rpm or more than traditional specs, so trucks spec’d with XE13 cruise at just 1,150 rpm at 65 mph, while the XE16 powertrain package can cruise as low as 1,100 rpm at 65 mph.
Fuel efficiency improves by about 1.5 percent for every 100 rpm of downspeeding, so customers spec’ing the XE package can expect up to a 3 percent improvement when compared with another overdrive transmission in a similar operation. In 2012, more than 10 percent of all Volvo trucks delivered featured an XE powertrain.
The Volvo I-Shift is proven to help attract and retain drivers, largely because it improves driver comfort and lessens the physical demands of the job. An independent fleet study showed a 54 percent increase in first-year driver retention when driving a vehicle equipped with an I-Shift. The study also showed a 10 percent reduction in turnover among experienced drivers. I-Shift can also help reduce the time needed to train new drivers.
I-Shift’s ease of operation has helped improve driver safety by reducing fatigue and allowing drivers to give their full attention to operating the vehicle. According to the American Trucking Associations’ comprehensive safety publication Safety for the Long Haul, AMTs, like the Volvo I-Shift, can help reduce the rate of crashes among inexperienced drivers by 26 percent and reduce the crash rate of experienced drivers by 22 percent.
Drivers also enjoy improved payload capacity as a result of the I-Shift’s lightweight design, which provides a weight savings in excess of 100 pounds compared with 13- and 18-speed transmissions.
Strong customer demand for the I-Shift played a significant role in last year’s decision to move full assembly to the Hagerstown, Md. powertrain facility. The transmissions were previously assembled in Köping, Sweden and then sent to Hagerstown for adaptation to North American market requirements.
Volvo Trucks will now offer the Volvo I-Shift as standard on all trucks built for the North American market.
Volvo Trucks North America’s operations and products are guided by the company’s three core values: Quality, Safety and Environmental Care. The Volvo VNM, VNL, VNX, VHD and VAH trucks are assembled in the United States at the New River Valley Plant in Dublin, Virginia, while Volvo engines for North America are assembled in Hagerstown, Maryland. Both plants are certified to ISO14001 environmental and ISO9001 quality standards.
The Volvo Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. The Volvo Group, which employs about 115,000 people, has production facilities in 19 countries and sells its products in more than 190 markets. In 2012, the Volvo Group’s sales amounted to $45 billion. The Volvo Group is a publicly-held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo shares are listed on OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm and are traded OTC in the U.S. For more information, please visit www.volvogroup.com or www.volvogroup.mobi if you are using your mobile phone.
March 21, 2013