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2019 S60 T8 Polestar Engineered Sells Out In Less Than An Hour

2019 S60 T8 Polestar Engineered Sells Out In Less Than An Hour

Forget SUVs - the fast four-door is still going strong!

Volvo introduced the third-generation S60 compact earlier this year, and with it, the limited, hot-to-trot Polestar Engineered edition. Thanks to its sultry aesthetic and potent powerplant, Volvo fans were eager to scoop it up - so much so, every available unit sold out in just 39 minutes.

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Pricing for the Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered is Far From What You'd Expect

Pricing for the Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered is Far From What You’d Expect

The S60 Polestar Engineered is a subscription-only car

The U.S.-built Volvo S60 was launched last week, and the automaker has already announced that the top-of-the-line hybrid version, the S60 T8 Polestar Engineered, will be available from June 28. But, there’s a catch – only 20 of these will be available, and only by subscription through Care by Volvo. Customers who have enrolled in Care by Volvo can make a monthly payment of $1100, before taxes and registration fees, for the S60 T8 Polestar Engineered. These monthly payments cover insurance, service, and maintenance of the car.

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Volvo Cars and Trucks Will Gossip About Road Hazards

Volvo Cars and Trucks Will Gossip About Road Hazards

It’s a big step in connected car safety

Volvo is rolling out a new cloud-based service called “Connected Safety” that will let Volvo cars and trucks talk with one another to alert each other of hazardous traffic situations. Connected Safety will roll out this year in Sweden and Norway and builds upon the cloud service already available to Volvo cars that are connected to the cloud. That system allows 2016 and new Volvos to alert other connected Volvos when cars around them have their hazard lights switched on. When Volvo turns on this feature for its big trucks, it will allow the system cover a wider area, identify more hazards, and (assumingly, of course) improve overall safety traffic.

Volvo could eventually expand the system to include other safety-enhancing functions like warning of slippery roads, various road hazards, accidents, slower traffic, etc. It’s even possible that other automakers could opt into the service, allowing even a larger area and more vehicles to make use of the service. Of course, Volvo isn’t the only automaker that has made strides in this department and, as connected infrastructure continues to develop, we’ll see more and more of this to the point that’s we may very well know what’s around every curve or corner before we ever get there.

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One Minute News: Amazon to Start Delivering Packages to Volvo and GM Vehicles

One Minute News: Amazon to Start Delivering Packages to Volvo and GM Vehicles

It’s only possible for those with Volvo on Call and GM’s OnStar Connectivity Services

Now that Amazon has moved past the idea of leaving packages inside our homes, it wants to start delivering packages straight to the trunks of our cars. And, it’s starting to do so already, thanks to a deal with GM and Volvo, which will allow anyone with a vehicle that’s 2015 or newer and actively subscribed to Volvo on Call or OnStar. For this to work, however, Amazon will get the GPS location of your vehicle and license plate number. And, the vehicle needs to be parked within a certain proximity to an address used for Amazon deliveries. Apparently, Amazon never gains access to your connected car credentials and instead requests access to each vehicle via an encrypted messaging service with the connected car service. On the plus side, GM, Volvo, nor Amazon look at this as a way to earn additional profit and instead want to offer it as an added convenience. The program has been available in California and Washington for the last six months and should now expand to other areas now that Amazon has signed a new two-year contract with GM and Volvo. The company will look to expand to other automakers in the future.

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Uber Had Disabled Volvo's Safety Systems in that XC90 That Fatally Hit a Pedestrian

Uber Had Disabled Volvo’s Safety Systems in that XC90 That Fatally Hit a Pedestrian

It’s apparently standard practice to disable standard safety systems to test their own...

According to Aptiv, the company that supplies Volvo’s radar and camera, Uber had disabled the standard collision avoidance system on the XC90 that plowed into that pedestrian. For now, everyone else is remaining largely silent with Uber declining to comment and Volvo saying the company can’t speculate on the cause of the incident. However, Intel’s Mobileye, Aptiv’s supplier of chips and sensors for collision-avoidance systems played a video of the incident, and its software was able to detect the pedestrian one second before impact even with the “second-hand” quality of the video.

This, of course, is a move by Aptiv and Intel to protect themselves and their client, Volvo, who was apparently - -if these reports are to be believed – free of fault as the systems were disabled during the incident. This notion certainly angles the blame at Uber’s technology, which could be a huge problem for the company as Arizona has already revoked its permission to test autonomous cars on public roads. And, it certainly goes to show that Uber has a lot of work to do and really has no business having driverless cars on the road. The question now is, whether or not the rest of Uber’s autonomous operations will be subject to interruption. After all, the company just got done boasting its autonomous truck fleet.

For what it’s worth, disabling standard safety equipment included with vehicles at purchase may be a normal practice in order to help facilitate testing Uber’s own self-driving system. Even if it is standard practice, it looks like that standard practice may change in the near future, don’t you think?

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Volvo Removes Combustion Engine Development From the Budget

Volvo Removes Combustion Engine Development From the Budget

New-generation gas and diesel engines will be a thing of the past for the Swedish automaker

Volvo’s done building gasoline and diesel engines. The Swedish automaker revealed as much in a conversation with Road & Track. According to the report, the current crop of gas and diesel engines that Volvo is using now will be the last family of their kind. From 2019 at the latest, the company’s budget for developing new internal combustion engines will carry the same amount as a free sandwich. This development is the latest indication of Volvo’s plan to only release hybrids and EVs beginning in 2019, something company CEO Håkan Samuelsson has been saying since July 2017.

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Screw You Tesla; Volvo Electric Trucks Hitting the Market in 2019

Screw You Tesla; Volvo Electric Trucks Hitting the Market in 2019

Swedish automaker has its eyes set on being a threat to Tesla’s plans

Tesla is making a push to be an industry leader in the electric truck space, but it’s going to have plenty of competition from the auto industry. One company that wants a stake in the segment is Volvo. The Swedish automaker made that known after announcing plans to start selling electric medium-duty trucks in Europe by 2019. Volvo also said that the first units of its EV trucks will be put to the test this year with selected “reference customers.”

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Geely Buys $3.3B Stake In Volvo's Truck Line

Geely Buys $3.3B Stake In Volvo’s Truck Line

The purchase gives Geely an 8.2-percent stake in AB Volvo

Zhejiang Geely, the Chinese automaker best known in the West for its ownership of Volvo and its recent acquisition of Lotus, has just purchased an 8.2-percent stake in AB Volvo for an estimated $3.3 billion U.S. dollars. Though it appears a small stake, the 8.2-percent makes Geely the largest shareholder of AB Volvo and the second largest by voting rights, just behind the investment firm Industrivarden. This puts Geely in a power position over both Volvo cars and AB Volvo’s commercial truck and bus business. A Geely spokesperson said the company has no intention of reuniting the two Volvo divisions, which had separated in 1999. Geely purchased the stage from the investment firm Cevian Capital.

“Given our experience with Volvo Car Group, we recognize and value the proud Scandinavian history and culture, leading market positions, breakthrough technologies and environmental capabilities of AB Volvo,” Geely Holding Chairman Li Shufu told Reuters in a statement in late December 2017.

Geely’s purchase also means it now controls AB Volvo’s 45-percent stake in Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles, a large player in China’s commercial truck market. Interestingly, Geely is also working to buy a three to five percent stake in Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz and Smart, worth an estimated $4,7 billion. Not only does Mercedes have its massive consumer-based vehicles, but also its commercial arm that builds a wide range of light- to heavy-duty vehicles. That would put Geely in an authoritative position in the commercial trucking industry.

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Swedish Automaker and its Performance Division Officially Part Ways

Swedish Automaker and its Performance Division Officially Part Ways

Now the focus is performance EVs

Ford has SVT; Chevrolet has GM Performance Parts; Dodge has Mopar – Sadly, the world now has one less automotive pairing made in horsepower heaven. Polestar has officially become its own brand and will no longer build souped-up models for Volvo. Rather, Polestar will build high-performance electric vehicles that compete with the likes of Tesla. No hints were given as to when Polestar expects to launch its first model, what that vehicle will look like, or what its range will be.

Oddly enough, Polestar made the official announcement via an Instagram post. The minimalistic post features a black background with white font reading, “The End.” There isn’t even a description to accompany the melodramatic image. As for its corporate ownership, Polestar remains wholly owned by Geely, the same Chinese company which parents Volvo, but will no longer sit under the Volvo umbrella. Volvo’s Senior VP of Design, Thomas Ingenlath, is now Polestar’s CEO, assisted by Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Goodman, Volvo’s now-former Senior VP of Corporate Communications.

Polestar’s vision was best encapsulated in June by Volvo’s president and CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, in the company’s initial annulment of the split, saying, “Polestar will be a credible competitor in the emerging global market for high-performance electrified cars. With Polestar, we are able to offer electrified cars to the world’s most demanding, progressive drivers in all market segments.”

The next few years will certainly be interesting for this newly hatched automaker.

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Polestar Leaves Volvo in its tracks to Ride Solo and Embark on an All-New Mission

Polestar Leaves Volvo in its tracks to Ride Solo and Embark on an All-New Mission

The separation means that Volvo’s performance division can now stand on its own

It’s a good sign that Volvo is in good standing in the automotive industry when it’s prepared to let its performance arm Polestar go out and make a name of its own, independent from the mother company. The announcement was made a few months ago, but now it’s official. Polestar has broken off from Volvo, and the new company left nothing to the imagination when it posted on Instagram an image made up of only two words: “The End.”

For those who are wondering if this is sad news, it’s not - It’s the exact opposite, actually. Say what you will about Volvo’s image as a luxury brand, but the Swedish automaker is making an aggressive move to take a piece of the performance car industry pie. When was the last time we thought of Volvo in these terms? Decades ago? Never? But this is what Volvo has become under the ownership of Chinese auto giant Geely, and it’s a wonderful thing. And as for Polestar, the newly-minted company will now focus its time and resources on developing high-performance electrified cars. There’s no word yet on what models it plans on developing, but a previous report indicated that Polestar’s first offering would be a bespoke sports car that will feature generous amounts of carbon fiber and will have a power output of around 600 horsepower. If this model does end up getting made, it would be Polestar’s initial offering to the market. For what it’s worth, never did I imagine a company with roots to Volvo roll out a car with that much power under its hood. But that’s, apparently, what we can start expecting from Polestar, which makes this news of its official separation from Volvo all the more exciting.

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Tesla Gets Some New Talent to Solve its Interior Woes

Tesla Gets Some New Talent to Solve its Interior Woes

It’s a pretty big move for the man behind the interior of the Volvo XC90

Just recently, we informed you of a leaked photo that could very well have been the interior of the Tesla Model 3. It was so simplistic in nature that it was ridiculous with almost no character to things like the dashboard and center console. Some would argue that the interior was hideous while others were happy to see such a minimalist approach. But, all of that could change, as Electrek is reporting that Tesla has managed to poach the engineering talent of none other than Volvo’s Anders Bell – a man who knows a few things about designing comfortable, attractive, and functional interiors. And, this isn’t hearsay either, as ell has finally confirmed his new role with Tesla via his LinkedIn profile.

For those of you who don’t know, Anders Bell joined Swedish automaker Volvo when he graduated engineering school way back in 1998. Since then, he has led several internal engineering programs at Volvo before finding himself as the executive overseer of all interior operations. You’ll recognize his most recent work inside the 2015 Volvo S60L. He also designed the seats that were used in the 2015 Volvo XC90. He was also in charge of overseeing the launch of the Volvo XC60. Needless to say, the man knows his stuff and could bring some serious change to the next-gen Model S and Model X, as well as the upcoming Model 3. The latter has yet to be fully unveiled and is technically still in development, so you can bet you’ll be seeing Bell’s work with Tesla sooner than later.

This is a huge development for Tesla. The brand happens to be the best thing going as far as all-electric mobility and autonomous capabilities but has long been scrutinized for its subpar interiors that always seem to be overshadowed by the competition – outside of the massive display screen, of course.

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Volvo's "Red Key" Is The Swiss Army Knife Of Car Keys

Volvo’s "Red Key" Is The Swiss Army Knife Of Car Keys

The do-everything key will help ease your anxiety

Volvo’s reputation as an automaker that prides itself on the safety of its vehicles has come in a number of shapes and forms over the years. Today, it comes in the form of a red key, or “Red Key” as Volvo has named it. The concept itself is not unlike what Dodge did when it offered a special red key fob for the Charger and Challenger Hellcats. The only difference is the function, and that’s where Volvo’s own Red Key makes good use of itself.

The key itself serves a variety of functions, most of which are geared towards ensuring owners that their cars are taken cared of when they’re not driving it. For instance, the Red Key limits the speed of the car to just 75 miles per hour – the complete opposite of Dodge’s red key fob that unlocks the Hellcat’s 707-horsepower output – and comes with a suite of programs that are activated when it’s being used, including the Adaptive Cruise Control system that automatically calculates and maintains an appropriate distance from the car in front of it. It also unlocks other tech features like the Blind Spot Information System, Lane Keeping Aid, Forward Collision Warning, Driver Alert Control, Distance Alert, and Traffic Sign Recognition. Oh, and it’s also capable of dropping the volume of the audio system, for whatever that’s worth. That’s a lot of functions for one well-dressed key.

David Baddeley, Operations Director for Volvo Car U.K., says that the Red Key is meant to make your Volvos safer. "Handing over your car to a third party often comes with a feeling of trepidation,” he said. "For those who regularly entrust their car to others, Volvo’s Red Key gives owners the confidence that their vehicle is being driven responsibly, no matter whose hands it’s in."

Considering all the safety and tech features that go live when the Red Key is being used, it’s hard to argue against that sentiment. That’s a promising proposition and even better, the key itself costs just £110, which converts to just under $140 based on current exchange rates. The only downside to the Red Key, at least for now, is that it’s only available for the S90, V90, and XC90 models with more models are expected to get the key at some point down the road.

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Volvo Set To Launch Car-to-Car Communication

Volvo Set To Launch Car-to-Car Communication

Swedish automakers joins Mercedes, Toyota, and others with this new tech

Add Volvo to the list of automakers that are now embracing car-to-car communication, as the company has announced plans to offer the technology across the top-range of its model lineup before the end of the year. In doing so, Volvo joins a list of companies that have started offering the tech that allows vehicles to exchange information regarding certain road scenarios, including obstacles and conditions that could pose a threat to oncoming cars.

Volvo’s entire lineup of 90 series models will get first dibs on car-to-car communication, including the S90, XC90, and V90 Cross Country. Volvo Senior Vice President for R&R, Peter Mertens, told Automotive News Europe that these models are expected to get the tech “at the end of the year” as preparations for its introduction continue with co-developer Ericsson. Once the tech is up and running, owners of any of the 90 series models will be able to communicate with one another through warnings of potential road hazards. According to Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson, the company makes use of cloud technology so direct links between vehicles are not required. Each car does require an internet connection for the system to work.

Volvo’s car-to-car communication system is not unlike what Mercedes is already offering for the E-Class that’s already active in some markets, including the US, Europe, and China. Volvo did say that its own system will evolve at some point to become more versatile will be equipped to handle more road conditions. There are also plans to expand the adoption of the tech to include the rest of its lineup in the future.

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Volvo Partners with Autoliv to Develop Autonomous Driving Software

Volvo Partners with Autoliv to Develop Autonomous Driving Software

Swedish safety goes high-tech

Autoliv, a global automotive safety systems provider based out of Sweden, is partnering with Volvo in a joint venture to make autonomous driving software. The two companies hope to make driving safer through the implementation of new self-driving features, eventually pushing towards a future where full autonomy is the norm.

Currently, the new company is looking to set up shop in Gothenburg, Sweden, employing 200 workers pulled from both Autoliv and Volvo. The unnamed joint venture plans on eventually expanding to 600 employees, with operations commencing sometime early next year.

By joining forces, Autoliv and Volvo hope to create advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD) systems, both of which will be incorporated into various Volvo products. Autoliv also expects to sell the ADAS and AD products to other automakers, with revenues shared between the two companies.

“This new company is a recognition of the fact that autonomous driving is the next step to transform road safety,” said Jan Carlson, chairman, president and chief executive at Autoliv.

For now, the plan is to get the ADAS products up and running by 2019, while the AD systems will see a release in 2021.

“By combining our know how and resources we will create a world leader in AD software development,” said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive at Volvo. “This means we can introduce this exciting technology to our customers faster.”

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Volvo And Uber Strike Partnership To Develop Autonomous Vehicles

Volvo And Uber Strike Partnership To Develop Autonomous Vehicles

Deal benefits both companies both in the short and long term

Volvo Car Group and ride-sharing service Uber have signed up on a $300 million partnership to develop autonomous driving vehicles. It’s the latest partnership between a traditional automaker and a tech firm to accelerate the development of self-driving technology and at the rate these partnerships are being formed, it might be a good idea to start creating a chart to see who has partnered with who.

The Volvo-Uber deal allows both companies to pool their resources together and capitalize on the strengths of each other. For its part, Volvo will send over XC90 SUVs to Uber, which in turn will install its autonomous driving system that the company itself is developing for use in its ride-sharing service. Volvo will then use the vehicles with Uber’s self-driving tech for its own strategic purpose. The partnership covers hardware and software developments aimed at addressing important issues surrounding autonomous driving, particularly the safety and security of a system that is poised to redefine the entire auto industry moving forward. Both Volvo and Uber are also seen as 50/50 partners in this endeavor and whatever technology is developed for the purpose of this collaboration will be shared to the other party.

That said, the collaboration doesn’t both companies to one another, an important point considering how competitive the race to develop autonomous driving technology has become. For what it’s worth, Toyota has already made an investment in Uber. Likewise, Volvo and Uber are also part of a bigger lobbying group with Ford, Google, and Lyft to lobby for autonomous driving cars with lawmakers and regulators in the U.S.

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Volvo Reveals New Compact Modular Architecture

Volvo Reveals New Compact Modular Architecture

Volvo’s continued brand overhaul has taken another step with the automaker’s announcement of its new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), a new platform that will underpin a range of compact cars that Volvo plans to launch in 2017. The new CMA platform will be similar to the company’s existing Scalable Platform Architecture, which already underpins some of the brand’s bigger models, including the XC90 and the S90 luxury sedan.

The announcement presents a clearer picture of Volvo’s plans as it begins reinventing itself as a bonafide luxury brand. Essentially, having two platforms will allow the company to streamline its production and create a more systematic way to manufacture its new models. Both platforms will still share engines and safety systems, but for the most part, each will be used exclusively depending on the size of the vehicle.

Specific details surrounding Volvo’s future car plans are still being withheld, but we already know that the next-generation V40 and the XC40 crossover will be a part of this transformation. Eventually, Volvo will replace every single model in its lineup in the next four years and double its annual sales volume to around 800,000 units. By comparison, Volvo sold 465,866 units in 2014.

The aforementioned XC90 SUV and the S90 sedan are the first two models that will usher in this new era for Volvo. Once the CMA platform is put to use, expect to see Volvo’s small car lineup to finally take shape.

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Volvo Starts Building Its First American Factory

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.

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Volvo Buys Polestar, Promises Hybrid Performance Cars

Volvo Buys Polestar, Promises Hybrid Performance Cars

After nearly two decades of producing limited-edition, performance Volvos for the road, as well as successful race cars, Polestar has been acquired by the Swedish carmaker. From now on, Polestar will be used as the model name for special, high-performance Volvos, according to the company, which is pretty much what happened when the brand was independent.

However, while customers might not notice the difference at first, some things are bound to change in the future. First and foremost, the Swedes announced that Polestar-badged models will utilize Volvo’s new twin-engine electrification technology, meaning all performance cars will get hybrid versions too.

The buying process will implement a new strategy, as Volvo wants to double Polestar sales "in the medium term." Specifically, the company wants to increase sales to up to 1,500 units a year compared to the 750 examples it expects to deliver in 2015. Additionally, Polestar will continue to offer performance optimization kits for existing Volvos under the new ownership.

Lastly, the Polestar racing team will remain under the control of Christian Dahl, the former owner of Polestar, but will be renamed. Dahl will continue to receive support from the brand.

Though Volvo declined to disclose any financial details, it did say all existing Polestar Performance employees will become Volvo employees.

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Volvo Will Build XC60 And S60 In Its US Plant

Volvo Will Build XC60 And S60 In Its US Plant

Volvo’s recently announced plant in Ridgeville, South Carolina near Charleston will build the brand’s most popular cars in the U.S. The news comes from CEO of Volvo Cars of North America Lex Kerssemakers, who recently spoke with Automotive News about plans for the new plant, saying, “we will select a model that will be in the highest demand in the United States."

Volvo’s best sellers in the U.S. right now are the S60 sedan and XC60 crossover, but Kerssemakers went on to say that the upcoming XC90 SUV would not be built at the new plant.

Following the leads of Mercedes-Benz in Alabama and BMW in South Carolina, Volvo’s new southeastern plant represents a $500 million investment. Construction will begin in fall of 2015, and it should be online by 2018. The new plant will initially create 2,000 new jobs for the area, with that number increasing to 4,000 as production ramps up.

Volvo says the new factory will have a capacity of about 100,000 cars per year, and will be one of three in the world tooled to build cars based on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture. The company sold 56,366 units in the U.S. last year, but with 14 new vehicles coming over the next five years, Volvo is projecting a sharp increase in demand.

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Volvo Chooses South Carolina For Its First American Plant

Volvo Chooses South Carolina For Its First American Plant

Volvo just recently announced its intentions to build its first-ever U.S. production facility, and the Swedish automaker has just announced that the plant will be in South Carolina. The plant will be in Berkeley County, just north of Charleston, and while no exact location was revealed, the facility will most likely be located along the western edge of the county, close to Interstate 26.

Construction will begin this fall, with cars rolling off the assembly line by 2018, but Volvo has not said which product (or products) it plans to build in South Carolina. The best bet would be the popular S60 or one of the two crossovers that Volvo offers. When the plant goes online, Volvo says that it will initially have the capacity to build about 100,000 units each year, including those for export.

There is no word as to how many people the plant will initially employ, but Volvo has a “longer term” plan to employ 4,000 people. Add in the additional five to seven jobs that Volvo says will be created outside the plant by outside companies and suppliers, and South Carolina’s employment rate will probably see a pleasant spike over the next several years.

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