Volvo Construction Equipment has sold its compact motor-grader line to Champion LLC, a new company organized by Gary Abernathy, manager of the Volvo compact grader line since 1997. The Champion acquisition is effective as of July 1, 2004.
Abernathy and his father, a paving contractor from Charlotte, N.C., designed the first of the four Lee motor graders in 1979. Champion Road Machinery purchased their company in 1993. Abernathy stayed on as business manager of the small grader line then, and again in 1997 when Volvo bought Champion. Abernathy purchased rights to Volvo's G60, G66, G80, and G86; renaming them Champion C60, C66, C80, and C86.
Champion LLC will continue to manufacture the machines in Charlotte, and will be responsible for parts and customer support for Volvo compact motor graders that are out of warranty. Volvo will support all Volvo-branded compact graders that are still under warranty. Compact graders built in Charlotte after July 1, 2004, will carry the Champion brand.