Volvo Cars has chosen South Carolina as the location for its first American factory, investing up to $500 million in a facility that will initially produce as many as 100,000 cars a year. The Berkeley County factory, located outside Charleston, will make latest generation Volvo models for sale in the United States and for export.
Construction will begin in autumn 2015, with the first vehicles expected to roll off the assembly line in 2018. Part of an ambitious expansion plan to double global sales, boost market share and lift profitability, the U.S. plant will make it possible to manufacture vehicles on three continents, underscoring Volvo Cars’ position as a global carmaker. It already operates two plants in Europe and two in China. “This new global industrial footprint and a complete product renewal forms a foundation for our growth and profitability targets,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Car Corporation. Volvo began importing cars to the U.S. in 1955. With the development of an American factory, the company crosses an important threshold from an automotive importer to a domestic manufacturer. “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.” The location of Berkeley County offers easy access to international ports and infrastructure, well-trained labor force, attractive investment environment and experience in the high tech manufacturing sector.

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