Mack Trucks Has a Proud Legacy in the Lehigh Valley, Official Says
By Colin McEvoy on October 21, 2021
Every heavy-duty class 8 Mack Truck built for the North American market is made in Lehigh Valley, and that’s a long-standing source of pride for the company, according to Gunnar Brunius, Vice President & General Manager, Lehigh Valley Operations at Mack Trucks.
“It’s an iconic brand,” Brunius said. “It has a legacy to really take care of, and I think that’s something everybody in the Lehigh Valley should be very proud of.”
Brunius was the interview subject in the latest entry in a weekly series the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) is conducting with new corporate leaders with some of Lehigh Valley’s leading companies and largest employers.
“I would go as far as to say that, although we have some iconic brands that are made in the Lehigh Valley, Mack is at the top of the list, in an area where manufacturing remains the second-largest part of our economy, with 34,000 workers,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham, who conducted the interview released on Oct. 21.
New videos in the executive interview series are released each Thursday at 11 a.m. on LVEDC’s Facebook page. The next interview on Oct. 28 will feature Sarah Santos, President of Cigars International.
Brunius was promoted to his current role in October 2020. A native of Sweden, he had a 40-year career in automotive manufacturing, starting with Saab Automobile in 1981. He was also previously Vice President of the Tuve vehicle assembly plant for Volvo Trucks in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Brunius discussed various topics during the interview, such as transitioning into his position during a pandemic, supply chain challenges for the components needed for assembly, the specific types of trucks Mack produces, and challenges for the truck market moving forward.
He also discussed Mack Trucks’ commitment to its Lehigh Valley facility. The company employs more than 2,500 people in the region, and last year it completed an $84 million expansion project at its Lower Macungie Township facility that included equipment and improvements, the insourcing of chassis assembly, and a 300,000-square-foot addition.
“We’re not planning to stop, either,” Brunius said. “We will continue to invest in the plant as well going forward.”
Brunius discussed the recent shortages of microchips, the availability of workers and skilled talent, and Mack Trucks’ work on electric vehicles. The company recently announced its first fully electric vehicle, a zero-emissions refuse truck called the Mack LR Electric.
“If you look at the world and also the United States, of course, everyone is looking for CO2-neutral or zero-CO2 trucks, and we are on to that journey as well,” he said. “We’re not planning to fall behind.”
After the interview with Santos on Oct. 28, LVEDC’s executive video interview series will conclude on Nov. 4 with Rick Bucher, Chief Executive Officer of Victaulic.
Past interviews have highlighted such companies as Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley Plastics, Olympus Corporation of the Americas, and PPL Electric Utilities.
LVEDC had also launched an initial series of 10 video interviews in the fall of 2020.
Sponsors for the series include presenting sponsor Lehigh Valley Health Network; premier sponsor Capital BlueCross; gold sponsor Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba; event sponsors Boyle Construction, Klunk & Millan Advertising, Olympus Corporation of the Americas, interview sponsor Victaulic, and production sponsor Countess Communications.
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