Construction facing frantic five years, says Volvo CE

By Steve Ducker15 June 2022

Volvo Construction Equipment (CE) president Melker Jernberg believes the construction industry will face more change in the next five years than it did in the previous half-century.

Melker Jernberg 2 Melker Jernberg at Volvo Days. (Photo: D&Ri magazine)

Speaking at the company’s Volvo Days event for customers dealers and the media – appropriately titled “Change starts here”, he said: “A lot of things are ongoing in our company just now, with innovations, new machines and new services.

“In the next five years we will see more change in our industry than the past 50. I underestimated the speed of change of innovation.

“Construction is a conservative industry, but we need to do something different and we already are. And the biggest challenge of the day is achieving net zero value chain emissions by 2040.

“In 2015 – across all industries – there were 116 companies with public science-based targets. Now there are 2,446.”

Volvo now has more than 300 electric machines in the field, having taken its first steps with the L25 electric wheeled loader and ECR25 compact excavator at the Bauma trade show in Germany three years ago.

“Now it looks obvious,” said Melker.

“But at the time we had no idea of the market, of customers, volumes, prices, costs. We went to the board with nothing but an ambition to take the lead in this change.”

Melker also paid tribute to the company’s employees for their efforts during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The past two to two and a half years have been a tough period for all of us, of course. We have faced very big challenges on supply side. We have battled that for some time; it has been constant crisis management.

“My view of our organisation is that it is totally fantastic. It is unbelievable how anyone can manage something like this for such a long time.

“Then we have the catastrophic and human tragedy of the war in Ukraine just as we thought everything was going to get better.

“So Volvo Days is very important to demonstrate our transformation and what we are doing for the company and for the future of our industry.”

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