“This new global industrial footprint and a complete product renewal forms the foundation for our growth and profitability targets,” said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Car Corporation.
Volvo Cars will employ around 2,000 people at this factory, making about 100,000 vehicles per year initially.
The first Volvos arrived Stateside in 1955. Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, said he was excited to see that the first American factory is being built in South Carolina.
Why Berkeley County? Because, the Swedish company says, it has access to international ports, a well-trained workforce and good infrastructure. An economic impact analysis found that up to 8,000 total jobs would be created throughout connecting industries and parts suppliers and that the plant would contribute approximately $4.8 billion in total economic output annually.
What are they going to build in America?Nobody seems to know, but it needs to be a mid-size or bigger. The Torslanda plant in Gothenburg, Sweden has just started a 3rd production shift to meet customer demand for the new XC90, which exceeded 30,000 units. Carolina could help them keep up.
Many other premium car companies make SUVs in America. For example, BMW makes pretty much all of them in Spartanburg, while Mercedes assembles its 4x4 in Alabama.
In April 2015, Volvo's US sales were flat with 4,636 retail deliveries where the XC60 and S60 were the top sellers. However, these mid-size models are made in two different European factories (Torslanda and Ghent), so Volvo probably doesn't need extras.