Volvo Cars has announced that it has inaugurated its first manufacturing plant in the US, in Charleston, South Carolina, thereby expanding its global manufacturing footprint. This new plant establishes Volvo Cars as a car maker with plants in all three of its major sales regions. Volvo Cars is investing about $ 1.1 bn in its US manufacturing operations, and will create about 4,000 new jobs at the Charleston site over the coming years. About 1,500 staff will be employed by the end of this year.
The new Charleston facility includes an office building for up to 300 staff from R&D, purchasing, quality and sales. The plant can manufacture 150,000 cars per year at full capacity. Opening of this production facility in the US follows the company’s global manufacturing strategy of ‘Build where you sell.’ This facility complements Volvo Cars’ two manufacturing plants and an engine plant in Europe, three car factories and an engine plant in China, as well as assembly plants in India and Malaysia.
The new plant at Charleston begins production of the new Volvo S60 premium mid-size sports sedan, based on the company’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, in the fall of 2018. From 2021, the factory will also build the next generation of the Volvo XC90 large premium SUV, the company said. Vehicles manufactured at this plant will be for both domestic sales in the US, as well as for exports.
Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO, Volvo Cars, said the Charleston plant establishes the US as the company’s third home market. The sedan segment, and the SPA platform’s proven ability to boost profitability offer significant growth opportunities for Volvo Cars in the US and globally, he added.
The company also said it will build plug-in hybrid cars at all of its car plants globally. In 2017 Volvo Cars was the first global car maker to announce its strategy that from 2019 all new models will be electrified.