In a surprising move, Volvo has announced a massive expansion of Chinese production, shifting focus away from Europe and making China its global manufacturing and export hub.
More specifically, it has been announced that production of the S90 premium sedan will be moved from Sweden to the company’s plant in Daqing, China and then exported globally.
Additionally, a Volvo facility in Chengdu will build existing and future 60-series models the alongside Swedish plant based in Gothenburg. Furthermore, future 40-series small cars will be constructed at a factory in Luqiao, 350 km south of Shanghai as well as at Volvo’s existing Belgium plant.
The company says its “expanded production capacity in China forms an integral part of its broader global industrial footprint”, spreading the load of production across the world. A factory in South Carolina is also being constructed.
Volvo’s increased focus on the Chinese market comes as part of the marque’s $11 billion revival currently being led by Chinese owner, Zhejian Geely Holding. Although Volvo has yet to reveal just how many units of its various models will be produced annually in China, it refused to reveal to Autonews if production of the S90’s sibling, the V90, could also be shifted to China in the future.
Beyond making its own models in China, Volvo’s upcoming factory in Luqiao will be tasked with building the various upcoming vehicles from Geely’s new car brand, Lynk & Co.
In a statement, president and chief executive of Volvo, Håkan Samuelsson, said “With three plants – and the designation of one car line for each plant – Volvo creates an efficient production structure ensuring future capacity for growth.”
While Volvo isn’t the first European automaker to have plants in China, its dramatic and ambitious focus on the market does come as a shock.
Will Chinese-production of its models tarnish the brand’s image? Or will it help it achieve record sales and deliveries? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.