Speaking of CMA, Volvo highlights the vehicle architecture co-developed with Geely will provide both automakers with many more models for the small premium segment. In preparation for the XC40, the Ghent facility went through an 8,000-sq.m. expansion of the body shop. In addition to this, 363 robots have been installed, including one nicknamed “The Beast” that lifts the XC40’s lower body to a conveyor belt close to the ceiling.
At the present moment, the XC40 is available in two flavors: T5 AWD and D4 AWD, both powered by 2.0-liter turbocharged engines. The T5 Drive-E is the most potent of the lot, packing 247 PS (244 horsepower) and 350 Nm (260 lb-ft) of torque. The T5 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid will arrive in 2019 with front-wheel-drive, and the CMA-based EV mentioned earlier is described by Volvo as “a pure electric version” of the XC40.
In total, Volvo operates two plants in Europe and two in China. A fifth plant is under construction in South Carolina, United States, and the grand opening is scheduled for the second half of 2018. In Ridgeville, Volvo will assemble the next-generation S60 sedan in the 2.3-million sq.ft. facility.
“This is a proud day for Ghent, the company and all our employees here,” said Hakan Samuelsson, chief executive officer of the Swedish premium automaker. “Our people have put in long days and many hours to prepare the plant for the start of XC40 production and they have done a great job.”