Volvo Announces South Carolina Plant
Construction to Begin Fall 2015, Production Starts 2018
After much speculation, Volvo Cars has announced the location of its future North American plant. The plant will be located in Berkeley County, South Carolina, outside of the port city of Charleston. Construction on the new plant is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015, and the first models are projected to come off the assembly line in calendar 2018.
In terms of the specific models to be built at the plant, the press release was vague, only saying “latest generation Volvo models for sale in the United States and export.” However, looking at Volvo’s latest sales figures, it’s not hard to guess which models will probably be built there. The best-selling vehicle for the brand so far this year is the XC60 crossover, making it a near certainty that the midsize crossover will be among the models made there. The S60 sedan is the second best-selling model for Volvo. The new XC90 has just now begun to trickle into showrooms, so it will be hard to judge the success of the fullsize luxury crossover until a few more months and quarters are under its belt, but there’s a strong likelihood it could also be built there.
Once the South Carolina plant is fully built and operational, it will give Volvo production facilities on three continents. Volvo currently has plants in Sweden, across Europe, and in China. Although not mentioned in the press release, the U.S. plant could also provide a ready foothold to introduce the parent Geely brand to the U.S. market at some point.
Source: Volvo Cars North America