Volvo Cars has taken the first steps in building its all-new car manufacturing facility in Berkeley County, South Carolina. The new plant will initially produce the next-generation Volvo S60 sedan, based on Volvo Cars’ new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). The company is investing USD500m in the new facility which initially will have a capacity of up to 100,000 cars per year.
The groundbreaking event in South Carolina today was attended by Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President Americas at Volvo Cars and Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina, along with other key public officials.
“Volvo Cars’ new South Carolina plant is a reflection of our firm commitment to the US market,” said Lex Kerssemakers. “The United States is a cornerstone in Volvo Cars’ global expansion plan and together with a whole range of new cars in the coming years, this new plant will play a vital role in growing our presence in the United States.”
The SPA-based Volvo S60 Sedan is currently under development at Volvo Car Group headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. American built S60s will be sold in the US market as well as overseas through exports from the Port of Charleston, along with another model yet to be determined. The first South Carolina-built Volvos are expected to roll off the assembly line in late 2018.
The decision to choose Berkeley County was taken as a result of its easy access to international ports and infrastructure, a well-trained labour force, an attractive investment environment and experience in the high tech manufacturing sector. Volvo Cars estimates that the factory will employ up to 2,000 people over the next decade and up to 4,000 people in the longer term.
With the new US plant in place, Volvo Cars will be able to manufacture cars on three continents, underscoring its position as a truly global car maker. It already operates two car plants in Europe and two in China.
Volvo Car Group in 2014
For the 2014 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 2,252 MSEK (1,919 MSEK in 2013). Revenue over the period amounted to 129,959 MSEK (122,245 MSEK). For the full year 2014, global sales reached a record 465,866 cars, an increase of 8.9 per cent versus 2013. The record sales and operating profit cleared the way for Volvo Car Group to continue investing in its global transformation plan.
About Volvo Car Group
Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 465,866 in 2014 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.
As of December 2014, Volvo Cars had over 26,000 employees worldwide. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for China is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium) and Chengdu (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).