Volvo Cars has opened its first US manufacturing plant in Charleston to produce the new S60 sedan and eventually the XC90 premium SUV.
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, today inaugurates its first US manufacturing plant, in Charleston, South Carolina, establishing the company as a truly global car manufacturer with plants in all three major sales regions. The US plant will initially manufacture the newly launched Volvo S60 premium mid-size sports saloon followed by more models including the next Volvo XC90 large premium SUV. Volvo invested just over a billion dollar in the US plant and will create up to 4,000 new jobs.
Volvo Cars Manufacturing Plant in the USA
The establishment of a state-of-the-art production facility in South Carolina follows Volvo Cars’ global manufacturing strategy ‘Build where you sell’.
The company’s first US facility complements its two manufacturing plants and an engine plant in Europe, three car factories and an engine plant in China, and assembly plants in India and Malaysia. Volvo’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), Chengdu and Daqing (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China), and body components in Olofström (Sweden).
The Charleston plant starts production of the new Volvo S60 premium mid-size sports saloon, based on the company’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, in the autumn of 2018. From 2021, the factory will also build the next generation of the Volvo XC90 large premium SUV. Cars built at the plant are destined both for the domestic US market and international export.
“The Charleston plant establishes the US as our third home market,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars. “The saloon segment and the SPA platform’s proven ability to boost profitability offer significant growth opportunities for Volvo Cars in the US and globally.”
Volvo Cars is investing around USD 1.1 billion in its US manufacturing operations and will create around 4,000 new jobs at the Charleston site over the coming years. Approximately 1,500 staff will be employed by the end of this year.
“The opening of our first American factory is a very big deal,” said Anders Gustafsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car USA. “Our US business is developing well, our cars have won prestigious awards, and the new South Carolina facility will be a big asset to both Volvo Cars and the community.”
The new Charleston facility includes an office building for up to 300 staff from R&D, purchasing, quality and sales. The plant can produce 150,000 cars per year at full capacity. The site occupies 1,600 acres and the building space covers 2.3 million square feet. Construction on the facility broke ground in 2015.
New Volvo S60 Made in America
Two turbocharged and supercharged plug-in hybrid petrol engines will be available in the new S60: Volvo’s T6 Twin Engine AWD plug-in hybrid that generates a combined 340hp, and the award-winning T8 Twin Engine AWD plug-in hybrid that delivers 400hp (US market). Volvo’s proven T5 and T6 petrol engines will be available at launch in selected markets.
The new S60 is the first Volvo car to be sold without a diesel offer, signalling the company’s industry-leading commitment to electrification and a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine. In 2017, Volvo Cars was the first global car maker to announce its strategy that from 2019 all new models will be electrified.