Volvo’s first factory in the United States will begin producing cars in Berkeley County, South Carolina in 2018, the company announced on May 11. The $500 million factory will have initial annual production of about 100,000 cars and employ up to 4,000 people in the long term.
This new plant is part of Volvo’s medium-term expansion plan. With it, the company will be able to manufacture cars on three continents, with one plant in North America, two in Europe and one in China. The cars produced at the South Carolina plant will be sold both in the United States and abroad as export.
“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.
“Building a plant in the US is a reflection of Volvo Cars’ commitment to the US and the key role the US plays in our growth objectives,” said Lex Kerssemakers, senior vice president Americas.
Berkeley County was chosen because of its easy access to international ports and shipping infrastructure, as well as a well-trained labor force and proximity to the high tech manufacturing sector.
Car plants create jobs in other sectors too, Volvo said in a press release, with five to seven external jobs being possibly created for every one job at a plant.
Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, expressed support for Volvo’s arrival. “By bringing $500 million in new investment and 4,000 jobs to this community, Volvo’s presence and commitment to Berkeley County and the state will be felt for decades to come,” she said. “We are proud to have this global leader in car manufacturing join and strengthen South Carolina’s automotive industry.”
Construction on the plant is expected to begin in early autumn of this year.
Originally a Swedish company, Volvo Cars was purchased away from parent Volvo Group by Ford Motor Company in 2010 and then by Zhejiang Geely Holding in 2010. It is headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden.