• Volvo Starts Building Its First American Factory

In May of this year, we brought you news that Swedish automaker Volvo had announced plans to build its first U.S. assembly plant. A recent press release officially announced that Volvo kept its word and has begun construction of its new facility in Berkeley County, South Carolina. A time schedule for completion has yet to be announced, but the Swedes still intend to roll their first U.S.-made vehicle off the assembly line by the final quarter of 2018.

The plant will first begin production of the redesigned, Volvo S60 sedan that Volvo has been busy developing in its home country. There will be a second model built at the plant as well, but Volvo has yet to release details on which model it has in mind. Initial staffing of the plant is expected to reach up to 2,000 employees, with a long-term goal of increasing to upward of 4,000. The American-built S60 will be exported globally to markets all over the world.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

This is huge news for Berkeley County. Even the initial hiring of employees will provide a significant bump to the economy, and should lead to the creation of jobs outside of the company as well. If the S60 sees as much success as the 2016 Volvo XC-90 and XC-60, the new assembly plant will be an important asset for Volvo. The Swedish company has expressed its desire to sell more vehicles in the U.S., and this is clearly a step in the right direction.

Volvo S60

Volvo S60 - Driven Exterior
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Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Volvo Cars of North America President and CEO Lex Kerssemakers, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and other key public officials officially broke ground on Volvo Cars’ first American factory in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Construction has now begun on the factory site, which will be capable of producing up to 100,000 cars per year.

“Today’s groundbreaking proves that Volvo Cars follows promises with action,” said Lex Kerssemakers, “Volvo is moving quickly to expand its presence in the United States with new cars, new engines and now, a new factory.”

Upon opening, the Berkeley County, South Carolina factory will be the global production home of the all new S60 Sedan, which is currently under development at Volvo Car Group headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. American built S60s will be exported around the world through the Port of Charleston, along with another model yet to be determined. The first South Carolina-built Volvos are expected to roll off the assembly line in late 2018.

The groundbreaking comes as Volvo’s global transformation and U.S. comeback takes root. Volvo saw U.S. sales increase by double-digit percentages over the last two months, with global sales rebounding across car lines. Demand has been strong for the all-new XC90 7-Seat SUV, which was released this summer, and the XC60 5-Seat SUV, which continues to delight drivers.

Volvo Cars estimates that the factory will employ up to 2,000 people over the next decade and up to 4,000 people in the longer term. An economic impact analysis compiled by Dr. Frank Hefner at the College of Charleston estimates that, for an initial 2,000 direct jobs, more than 8,000 total jobs would be created as a result. The plant would contribute approximately $4.8 billion in total economic output on an annual basis.

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