H.E. the Swedish Ambassador, Mr. Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt, with Sheikh Fahad Y. Zahid
H.E. the Swedish Ambassador, Mr. Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt, visited AVI’s state-of-the-art factory in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) recently, alongside Swedish Trade Commissioner to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Ali Shakir, and MD of Volvo Group Trucks Middle East, Mr. Lars-Erik Forsbergh. Zahid Group, led by the Executive Vice President, Sheikh Fahad Y. Zahid, hosted the visit. The Vice President HR & Group Affairs, Mr. Amr Khashoggi; AVI General Manager, Mr. Herve Simonin; Zahid Tractor CVD GM Operations, Mr. Osama Azraq; and Zahid Tractor GM Prime Products, Mr. Mohamed W. Zahid, accompanied him.
Mr. Rayan Qutub, CEO and Head of Industrial Valley at KAEC, welcomed the distinguished visitors and gave a presentation about the City and its value proposition, followed by a short video that highlighted King Abdullah’s vision in attracting strategic investors and creating a wonderful working and living environment for the citizens of Saudi Arabia.
During his visit, the Ambassador commented on the advanced technology and exceptional work environment at the facility, which has the capacity to assemble 4,000 units per year in a single shift. He also noted the outstanding progress and development of KAEC, after a brief tour around the city.
This was the first visit by the Swedish Ambassador to the AVI facility, which opened in 2015 in KAEC’s Industrial Valley. Designed by a Volvo and Renault Trucks project team, the facility is one of the most modern Volvo factories in the world, and is also one of the first to assemble both Volvo and Renault trucks on the same line. “Lean Manufacturing” principles derived from the Volvo Production System were followed in designing the production process and general layout of the facility, and various “Lean Tools” are applied in assembling the trucks, ensuring superior quality for customers.
AVI, in an effort to adhere to global best practice while also increasing its proficient Saudi workforce, provides extensive training in line with Volvo standards. With specially-designed Apprenticeship programs and on the job training for locals, AVI maintains a high level of Saudization while ensuring safety, efficiency, and quality.
The partnership between Zahid Group and Volvo Trucks dates back to 1980, when Zahid Tractor became the local distributor for Volvo trucks in the Kingdom. As demand continued to grow, both companies made a strategic decision in 1998 to form a joint venture, Arabian Vehicles & Trucks Industry Co. Ltd (AVI), to build a truck-assembly plant in the south of Jeddah. The first truck that rolled off the assembly was in 1999, starting decades of selling thousands of reliable and safe Volvo trucks to customers throughout the country. With the support of two leading organizations and two countries with strong foundations, AVI continues to invest heavily in its products, people, customers and community, to contribute to Saudi Arabia’s future development.