Volvo’s Building S90s In China And Sending Them To Europe By Train

Volvo has been gradually shifting production of the S90 to China. Soon, in fact, it won’t be making the sedans in Sweden at all – not even for local consumption.

Instead the mid-size luxury sedans are being brought in from the factory in Daqing, China. But they’re not being sent the long way by ship. Instead the S90s are coming in by train.

That will make Volvo, in its own words, the first automaker to export cars made in China to Europe by train. And the benefits seem to make it worthwhile.

For one thing, sending the cars by train is expected to cut transport time (and therefor customers’ waiting time) down by two thirds compared to shipping by sea. Over the same distance, the train option also reduces carbon emissions by a third compared to sea, but will be cut even more by the shorter distance. It’d be safe to assume it’ll reduce cost as well.

The dedicated trains will carry about 225 cars from Daqing to Zeebrugge (the port near Bruges in Belgium) in special containers, each holding three cars. They’ll travel about once a week initially before volume and frequency picks up.

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  • StrangerGP

    one of the reasons why you shouldn’t buy a Volvo these days

    • Evo45

      I don’t understand it, why not? It’s same thing, sort of.

    • TheHake

      Definitely. An S90 STARTS at €47500 over here, which will easily end up at €60k+. For a Chinese built car. No thanks I’ll pass on that.

      • Vassilis

        It doesn’t matter where a car is built. What matter are the standards it’s built under.

        • TheHake

          I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy one. I’m saying I won’t buy one.

          • Vassilis

            Not looking to buy one either but if I did I definitely would. They’re great cars.

          • Six Thousand Times

            I’d only want the six-cylinder.

          • Benjamin B.

            Turbocharged and supercharged inline 4 makes much more torque

          • Six Thousand Times

            Not the refinement of a six, though. And that 4 is spinning its heart out so the actual fuel economy can’t be much better than an undetstressed 6.

          • Kash

            S90 owner here, coming up on a year in July, and no problems with mine. Mine has a little over 14k miles on it and i’ve driven that car at 75-80mph on the highway there’s very little shaking or vibration or rattling, I only noticed it when i started getting closer to 90, but it wasn’t even that much either. No major issues either aside from routine maintenance and gas in the tank. I’m also average 25mpg in the Inscription T6 AWD in mixed driving but more city than highway. I’ve also taken the car from Vegas to LA a couple times and I was averaging over 30mpg even at 75-80mph for most of the trip. The car does more than fine with the i4.

            the i4’s of today are a lot better than they were 10 years ago, especially with cars weighing much less than they did 10 years ago.

          • Six Thousand Times

            Reading between the lines, you wish you had a nice smooth six, right? 😉

          • Kash

            Lol. Mehhhhh, I kinda wish i got the T8 hybrid, but other than that, nope.

          • Six Thousand Times

            So, I’m hearing that you’d really rather have had a couple more cylinders…

          • Kash

            Nah. If I want more cylinders I have my LC, F-pace, and G65. But I wouldn’t mind an electric motor or two added my S90.

          • gary4205

            Volvos are 4 bangers only.

        • KSegg

          LOL. You have no idea how wrong you are.

          • Vassilis

            Enlighten me…

        • LeStori

          Production shifted to a country with low wages yet I am expected to continue to pay premium prices for the item . Production moved to China presumably so that manufacturer can make more money. What’s in it for me considering it has gone from being an European car to a Chinese car.

          • Vassilis

            Volvo is a company owned by a Chinese group. It makes sense to move production there. It’s a pity so many people will lose their jobs but it makes sense as a move. Also, I’m not sure how much lower wages are in China nowadays. It’s no coincidence Chinese-made products are more expensive than they used to be. Which is of course great for the workers.

    • Charles Bryant

      Well, that’s using the rational part of your brain. Like half the things you use every day aren’t made in China.

      • Rocket

        Probably more than half. Key difference: We often don’t have a choice, or those choices are extremely limited. Thats not the case here as there are plenty of alternatives that are not made in China.

        • Marty

          Other alternatives, like all the other Volvo models.

  • Evo45

    What if some cars need to be delivered even before arriving at Belgium? They won’t stop?

    • Timo


      • Evo45

        Eh, what?

    • Six Thousand Times

      They can’t stop.

    • KareKakk

      If Volvo Moscow need 30 S90’s, I guess they can slow down a bit and drop 10 containers on the go.

  • TheBelltower

    I’d still buy one, as long as it comes fully loaded for $20k. I would never spend real money on a Chinese car.

    • It’s like saying as long as my Iphone comes fully loaded for 100$, I would never spend real money on a Chinese phone… And if you have a Google Pixel or whatever, same thing.

      • TheBelltower

        A phone is disposable, and I don’t care where it’s made. A car isn’t a throwaway item. If I buy a Volvo, BMW, Jaguar, it’s because it’s Swedish, German or British.

        • Kash

          Well depending on what Jag or BMW you buy it probably wasn’t built in the UK or Germany either, and if it’s a BMW most of the components were probably made in Mexico anyway.

          • LeStori

            European manufactured Fords are ‘better’ than the equivalent Thailand Fords. This is not because the Thai’s are worse at manufacturing cars than the Europeans. Rather where the parts are sourced.

            If the Chinese made Volvo’s have the exact same parts as the current European manufactured cars then all is o.k. . If parts are sourced elsewhere then who knows what you will get. Manufacturing a component in a different plant can result in a different performing part. That is within the same manufacturing company. Changing a component manufacturer can mean an even greater difference.

  • DMJ

    I must admit that I, as european, would prefer to buy a V90 or another Volvo made in Sweden (or Belgique). Even so, it’s important to understand that this is not a car engineered in China, this is a car (very well) engineered in Sweden but made in China. And so many people writing so many critics in 700 euros iPhones and Apple computers made in China…

  • Six Thousand Times

    So yeah, 100% Swedish and always will be. ..

  • Benjamin B.

    How many S90s are actually sold in Europe? I believe the V90, V90 Crosscountry and even the XC90 outsell the sedan, am I right?

    • KareKakk

      Which I presume explains the desicion of producing this single model in China for any market, and build the V and XC much closer to the end market of those models.

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