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Volvo Trucks opening new Hagerstown assembly line

HAGERSTOWN — Swedish truck maker AB Volvo is adding 50 jobs in Hagerstown with the opening of a new, $8 million assembly line.

Company officials held a ceremony Thursday afternoon to begin North American production of automated manual transmissions for heavy-duty trucks and buses.

The clutch-free transmissions use microprocessors to select the best driving gear. Volvo says the technology reduces fuel consumption and lets drivers focus on the road instead of on shifting.

Until now, Volvo produced units for the North American market in Sweden and modified them in Hagerstown. The company says demand for the transmissions is strong and growing.

The new jobs bring employment at the Hagerstown plant to nearly 1,500 workers.