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Volvo Opens Branches, Signs Franchisees

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Volvo Rents last month announced new rental centers in California, Louisiana and Florida as well as new franchises in Arkansas and Minnesota. The company also announced several management changes.

Sedquoyah Management opened a Volvo Rents center in Bakersfield, Calif. And the already established Sparks Equipment Plus, Shreveport, La., which opened its first Volvo Rents center in Bossier City, La., last year, recently opened a Shreveport branch. Florida Contractors Rentals, St. Augustine, Fla., opened another Volvo Rents equipment rental facility in Florida. The new rental center is the third independently owned and operated rental franchise under the Volvo name for Florida Contractors Rentals and owner, Cliff Sheffield. The first two Volvo Rents centers for the company were opened in 2002 in St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, Fla.

The company also signed new franchise agreements with Arkansas Rental Co., Little Rock, Ark., owned by R.C. Coburn; and American Rentals, Henrietta, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester, owned by Terry Thomas. The new franchisees plan to open Volvo Rents rental centers in their respective cities shortly.

On the organizational front, Jay Roszell has resigned from his position as president of Volvo Construction Equipment North America to pursue a long-term goal of moving to the distribution side of the business, company officials said. Roszell will assume responsibility for the Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee branches of recently acquired LB Smith. Denny Slagle, current president of LB Smith, will replace Roszell.

Bill Cummins, president of Mitchell Distributing Co., a major Komatsu distributor, for the past 12 years, will replace Slagle as president of LB Smith.

In other Volvo management news, Lars-Goran Andersson, chief financial officer of Volvo CE's international region, will take over the same position with Volvo CE North America. And Carl Lockwood has been promoted to vice president of strategy and business development for Volvo CE.

Meanwhile, Volvo Rents is continuing its expansion in Europe.

Its dealer in Portugal and Spain has joined the Volvo franchise program and will be expanding Volvo Rents in those countries, the company said. . Auto-Sueco Coimbra will expand its existing rental network in Portugal, where it has rental centers in Lisbon and Porto, and begin a rental network in Spain.

Auto-Sueco will expand its rental network from two to five locations over the next three years, said Jorge Patricio, the company's Portugal rental manager.

Volvo Maquinaria, the Volvo dealer acquired by Auto-Sueco three years ago, will begin a rental operation with branches in Madrid and Barcelona in the coming months. The company plans to open 16 branches over the next two years.

Volvo is working on a plan to develop its rental franchise program in eastern Europe as soon as possible.

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