Volvo is one of the few global automakers that doesn’t have a production facility in the U.S., but on Monday, the Swedish brand confirmed it will build its first-ever American plant in Berkeley County, South Carolina.
The new facility, which will cost approximately $500 million to build, signals Volvo’s commitment to the North American market, as well as its desire to match top luxury automakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. Volvo plans to have the production site up and running by 2018 at a volume of 100,000 vehicles per year.
We’re not sure which models Volvo will produce here in the good ol’ U.S. of A., but body styles which sell best on our shores, like the XC60 and XC90 make the most sense. At its origin, the South Carolina plant will employ 2,000 workers and over time, Volvo plans to hike that number up to 4,000. That’s a fair chunk of U.S. residents being put to work within the next few years. To attach another solid figure to the plan, Volvo estimates the facility will contribute about $4.8 billion in annual revenue to the economy. Go Volvo!
“We’re excited to build our first American factory in South Carolina and we look forward to helping grow the local community and economy.” said Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, “We were impressed with the friendliness, work ethic and passion of the people in the Charleston area.”
Volvo says it chose Berkeley County, located near Charleston, because of its proximity to international ports and the availability of a committed, well-trained workforce. If you’re keeping score, one of Volvo’s rivals has a production facility elsewhere in South Carolina: BMW.
With several industries transferring manufacturing sites overseas, it’s promising news that the U.S. market is still drawing automakers to establish a production presence here for the long term.