Volvo Cars has today inaugurated 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, writes Trish Whelan.
It follows the company’s global manufacturing strategy, ‘Build where you sell’.
The 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.
The Charleston plant starts production of the new Volvo S60 premium mid-size sports saloon in this autumn. From 2021, it will also build the next generation of the XC90 large premium SUV. Cars built at the plant are destined both for the home US market and international export.
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 1,5000 staff will be employed by the end of this year.
The 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 began in 2015.
The company 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 that from 2019, all new models will be electrified.