Volvo Trucks has done it again. In launching its latest heavy duty range of trucks in Europe this week – which includes the Volvo FH, Volvo FH16, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX models – the company has once again gone the ‘Hollywood’ route with its launch video. The new models will be arriving in South Africa in the last quarter of this year.
Many readers will recall the Epic Spilt video where Volvo got Jean-Claude Van Damme to do the splits with one foot on each truck as they backed up and got further apart. The idea was to demonstrate the Volvo’s Dynamic Steering capabilities. If you missed it, click here.
For the launch of Volvo’s latest new models, the company decided to demonstrate the power and strength of the new trucks by building a colossal 15-metre, 58-tonne truck tower, stacking its four new trucks on top of one another. Adding to that, they stood President Roger Alm on top.
In the truck industry, releasing one truck is a huge project. But releasing four at the same time is almost unheard of. When renewing the entire range of heavy duty trucks, Volvo Trucks went for a different approach.
The unusual film is set in the dead of night and starts by showing the truck tower as a huge monolith glowing in the distance. As it moves forward, we see wolves in the foreground and catch a glimpse of the FMX driver. As the film reaches its climax, complete with smoke and lighting effects, we see that the man standing on top of the truck tower is actually Volvo Trucks’ president Roger Alm.
The release of the video came one day ahead of the official launch of the heavy duty range in Europe, which includes the Volvo FH, Volvo FH16, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX. The four trucks represent about two thirds of Volvo Trucks’ deliveries.
“This is our biggest launch ever at Volvo Trucks. They will have a huge impact on our customers’ profitability and ability to compete both for business and the best drivers. I´m used to being on top of things but for me, shooting the truck tower was definitely an unusual day at work. And let’s just say I have a certain respect for heights. I´m a down to earth guy”, says Roger Alm, president of Volvo Trucks.
The film was shot in late 2019 on a testing ground outside Volvo’s hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden. Both the truck tower and the majority of the visual effects are real, including the smoke and lights, which a behind-the-scenes film reveals.
”It took about a month to design and build the tower and make sure it was safe to drive. Essentially, this was made possible thanks to the sturdy construction truck, Volvo FMX, and its new 38-tonne bogie being able to carry the weight of the others. But it also required a steady speed and course, accomplished by the Volvo Dynamic Steering technology and a skilled truck driver,” says Markus Wikström, engineer at Volvo Trucks and part of the engineering team behind the tower.
The new models will be arriving in South Africa in the last quarter of this year and interesting is that, in an age where autonomous driving seems to dominate the truck development scenario, Volvo has focused huge effort on improving the safety and comfort of the human driver. FleetWatch will take a closer look at what’s on offer in our eMag edition.
If you want to see the behind the scenes happenings in the making of the film, click here.