The Swedes go Stateside: Volvo to build cars in US

Published: 11 May 2015

► Volvo confirms new US factory
► To be built in South Carolina
► Expected to build SUVs for local sale 

Volvo is branching out from its production sites in Europe and China with today’s announcement that it’ll build a new $500 million (£320m) factory in South Carolina, US.

The new site in Berkeley County, close to Charleston, will have the capacity to build 100,000 cars a year. Construction will begin in autumn 2015 and Volvo’s parent company Geely expects the first cars to be rolling off the line in 2018.

Why is Volvo building a factory in the US?

Because it wants to be closer to its biggest customer bases and the US remains an important market for Volvo. It’s sold cars there since 1955 and aims to boost sales to – funnily enough – 100,000 models a year. In 2014, Volvo sales Stateside slipped 8% to 56,000 cars.

‘This new global industrial footprint and a complete product renewal forms the foundation for our growth and profitability targets,’ said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo.

The new site is expected to employ up to 4000 staff in America, although it estimates that number could swell by up to seven times by the ripple-effect through the supply chain. It is not yet clear which models it’ll manufacture at the site, but our money would be on the new and future crossovers, including the XC90 (pictured).

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet