Volvo XC90 production in Gothenburg, SwedenEnlarge Photo
Volvo on Monday confirmed it will add XC90 production to its new plant being constructed just outside of Charleston, South Carolina.
The first model to be produced at the plant which becomes operational in the fall of 2018 will be the next-generation S60.
XC90 production will start in 2021. By then, Volvo will have introduced a next-generation version of the SUV.
Volvo will have invested a total $1.1 billion in the site and created nearly 4,000 jobs once the two vehicles are in production. The annual capacity should be around 150,000 vehicles. Some of the new jobs created will be at a new office campus to be constructed on the site. The office will house staff from R&D, purchasing, quality as well as Volvo’s Southern regional sales team.
“The continued expansion of our plant in South Carolina is another significant commitment to the U.S. market,” Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said in a statement. “The plant in Charleston will serve both the U.S. and international markets and forms a strong foundation for our future growth in the U.S. and globally.”
Sedan sales were still booming when Volvo many years ago made the decision to produce the S60 in the U.S. Since then SUVs have become more popular. With the U.S. the biggest single market for the XC90, adding production of the SUV makes sense. Adding XC60 production would have been a good move too but the plant simply couldn’t be ready on time for the latest version which went on sale this year.
Currently, production of the XC90 is handled at plants in China and Sweden. It's not clear if Volvo will continue to produce XC90s at both sites once the next-generation model arrives.