Volvo Acquires Dealer L.B. Smith

Mon May 19, 2003 - Southeast Edition
CEG



Volvo Construction Equipment, (Volvo CE), has acquired the Volvo equipment distribution businesses from the company’s largest North American dealer, L.B. Smith Inc., based out of Mechanicsburg, PA. The acquisition is effective immediately.

A subsidiary of Volvo CE North America has been formed to acquire the assets and certain related liabilities of L.B. Smith Inc.’s Volvo equipment distribution businesses. The new company will be doing business as L.B. Smith and will continue all operations of the acquired dealership locations without interruptions in service or adverse effects on customers. Volvo CE’s intention is to retain most of the employees of the former L.B. Smith Inc. Volvo dealership branches.

L.B. Smith Inc., owned and operated 35 construction equipment dealership sales and service locations throughout the Eastern and Southeastern United States, 31 of these locations are authorized Volvo branches. The company has been a major contributor to Volvo CE’s continuing growth in the North American construction equipment industry.

Volvo CE intends to continue the operation from the existing 31 locations in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North and South Carolina, New Jersey, Virginia, eastern Pennsylvania and New York. The new company will be doing business as L.B. Smith.

“The construction equipment industry has been in the center of a tough business climate in North America for the past few years, and L.B. Smith Inc., our largest dealer, was a victim of these economic times. It happens from time to time and is something that has to be dealt with – which we have done. We have taken all of the appropriate steps with this action to protect our customers, strengthen our position in the market, and continue the building of our presence in North America,” said Scott Hall, executive vice president and responsible for global marketing and sales within Volvo CE.

“Our primary objectives are to provide ongoing and complete services to Volvo customers and to protect their interests and investments in Volvo construction equipment. Personnel and management systems are in place at each of the dealership locations involved to make certain that those objectives are met as seamlessly as possible.”

Dennis R. Slagle, president of L.B. Smith Inc., has been appointed president of the newly acquired operations. Current regional vice presidents of L.B. Smith Inc., Chris Wilmot, Walt Joachim, Jim Stem and Bob Thompson, will remain in their positions. Headquarters for the new company will be in Charlotte, NC. Slagle was senior vice president of marketing and business development, at Volvo CE North America for two years before his appointment in late 2002 to his current position with L.B. Smith.

“Our action with L.B. Smith Inc., is unusual and extraordinary, not to be taken lightly, but an action that is important to the continuing growth of Volvo CE in the North American market,” said Jay Roszell, president, Volvo CE North America, Asheville, NC.

“Volvo is not embarking on a move of any kind to take over the distribution of our equipment outside of our dealer network. We want to protect our customers, continue the growth of our business in the L.B. Smith Inc. territory, and strengthen a growing dealer network. We anticipate that, over time, the new regional operations will be acquired by people willing to invest in the Volvo brand.”

For more information, visit www.volvoce.com.