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.