A Kiwi OEM

In Short Story August 20232 MinutesBy Cark Kirkbeck and Gavin MyersSeptember 11, 2023

The move has been something we’ve been aiming for for a long time,” says Intertruck New Zealand managing director Comer Board. We’re talking about the company’s new all-in-one head office and assembly plant on Kaweroa Drive, Tauriko, in the rapidly expanding southwestern outskirts of Tauranga.

As you read this, the company will be celebrating its first anniversary at the site, after starting operation in August 2022. In 2021, Intertruck invested $20 million into the 1.4ha site. The head office includes a truck dealership, parts distribution centre, new and used vehicle sales, a new truck compliance centre and an independently operated VTNZ inspection lane. The service facility is fully equipped, with a rest area for drivers and customers.

The assembly plant includes engineering, two paint booths and a right- hand drive production division.

“We analysed the old Mt Maunganui plant and where we could improve,” explains Comer. “We moved from dedicated cabover and conventional lines to a stall- build setup, similar to how a trailer manufacturer builds their units. So, we have four stalls and alongside the chassis are bins from which the operator can simply grab their components and assemble the vehicle. It’s more time efficient.

“This month, we’re up to where we want to be with volume. Our aim was for five to six trucks per month, which is where we’re at now. It’s taken a lot of hard work. We’ve employed a new plant engineer who has had a good vision and has set the plant on to a point where we can’t get much more efficient.”

A sign of the times, Comer comments that advertising for assembly operators earlier this year resulted in 75 applications!

“Communications, closer working between teams and staff – it’s all benefitted. Intertruck is in its 29th year now. We want to prove to our customers that we are long-term. We invested a lot of time and money into this operation, and we’re going to continue on,” he says.