Chinese-owned Swedish automaker Volvo Cars yesterday inaugurated its first plant in the U.S. in a ceremony that also served for the reveal of its redesigned S60 sedan, which will officially enter production during the fall.
All cars rolling out of the assembly line, located in South Carolina, will run on hybrid powertrains, with no diesel engine options, in line with the company’s promise to stop making cars powered only by internal combustion engines.
The facility will start operations with a workforce of 1,100 strong, but Volvo plans to add the manufacture of its new XC90 SUV to this plant starting in 2021. Once fully operational, the site will employ 3,900 people and make 130,000 vehicles a year.
However, it's worth noting that, at the opening ceremony, company executives warned that the U.S. trade disputes could undermine those plans.
According to Volvo’s marketing officials, at least 29 of its main suppliers will ship parts from manufacturing facilities in Mexico, most of them located in El Bajio region.