Volvo has started production of a new long-wheelbase S60, aptly named the S60L, but unfortunately the car will be limited to the Chinese market, as is the case for many of the smaller long-wheelbase sedans. Production is taking place at Volvo’s new plant in Chengdu, China.
The S60L isn’t set for a debut until November 21, when the covers come off at China’s Guangzhou Auto Show
, so we don’t have any profile shots or specific details on just how much space rear-seat passengers will enjoy.
The production start is another important milestone in Volvo’s push into the Chinese market, which is quickly becoming the automaker's second home. Volvo’s parent company is Chinese automaker Geely, and the two are already working together on new models
Sales in China have been strong this year for Volvo, up 40 percent compared to 2012. The most popular models have been the S60 and its XC60 crossover cousin. And this will play a key role in Volvo reaching its goal of selling 800,000 vehicles globally by the end of the decade, roughly double the 421,951 cars it sold in 2012.
Volvo plans to build many more models in China. The automaker has another plant under construction in Daqing, which is expected to come online in 2014. Volvo also has an engine plant in Zhangjiakou which will supply power units for both of the car assembly plants.
Currently, Volvo’s Chinese-built cars are only sold in China but we may see exports eventually start. Previous Volvo boss Stefan Jacoby said in 2011 that the automaker was considering building cars in China for export
._______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.