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Volvo adding up to 140 jobs in Hagerstown

HAGERSTOWN — Swedish truck- and bus-maker AB Volvo said Friday that it will add up to 140 full-time jobs at its Hagerstown engine-and-transmission plant by 2015 as part of a global efficiency program announced last month.

The $30 million investment will enable Volvo to produce heavy-duty drive axles at the plant in western Maryland instead of buying them from Detroit-based American Axle and Manufacturing Inc., spokesman John Mies said. He said AAM makes the axles in Lancaster, Pa.

Volvo’s Hagerstown plant, 70 miles west of Baltimore, produces powertrains for Mack, Volvo and Prevost trucks and buses — all Volvo brands. It is Washington County’s fourth-largest private employer, with 1,340 full-time workers, according to state and local economic development agencies.

The company will get a $4 million conditional loan from the state and a $200,000 conditional loan from the county, according to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. The loans will be forgiven if Volvo makes the investment, retains its existing workforce and adds 140 jobs by Dec. 31, 2015, DBED spokeswoman Karen Hood said.

Volvo said the Hagerstown plant also will become its North American clearinghouse for used vehicle parts.

Volvo, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, acquired the Hagerstown plant when it took over Mack in 2001. It has invested more than $350 million in the facility, which produced more than 45,000 engines and 21,000 transmissions last year.

Volvo said last month that it was starting a three-year restructuring program, mostly of its truck business, to make the company more efficient. The announcement followed six straight quarters of declining profits or losses.

Volvo will release its third quarter 2013 financial results Oct. 25.

The company’s North American headquarters are in Greensboro, N.C.