Volvo Penta hits the slopes
Volvo Penta straps on the skis and takes to the slopes, with a new deal with French snow groomer manufacturer Aztec.
Volvo Penta engines have turned up in some unusual applications and locations, including powering gensets in Antarctica and pumping water in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. Now you can add one more exotic locale and application to the list: grooming the ski slopes of the French Alps.
With a new deal inked earlier this year, Volvo Penta enters the snow grooming segment for the first time in nearly 20 years. Aztec is France’s only manufacturer of snow groomers and a relatively young company — founded just five years ago in Chamonix Mont Blanc. Today, more than 20 of the company’s groomers are used in France, Japan and Russia.
“Fortunately we were able to show Aztec that we have an excellent product for the application. Our engines work well in low temperatures and at high altitudes,” says Eric Hautier, business manager for industrial engines at Volvo Penta Europe. “We also have an extensive service network in the Alps, and that was crucial to them.”
“We found that the Volvo Penta engine fits well with our requirements,” says Aztec president Eric Lambert. “The Volvo team was heavily involved in adapting the engines to our needs and requests, and our customers really appreciate having a snow groomer powered by an engine with the strength of the Volvo name.”
After a preliminary order of two engines, Aztec has put in a request for 10 more. The engines will be installed this year. The first machine is already being tested every night on the slopes of Les 2 Alpes Ski Resort. The first customers will take delivery of their Graphit Evolution in November, just in time for ski season.