2009 Volvo S80L sedan

2009 Volvo S80L sedan

Volvo last week announced plans to build a new plant in Chengdu, China along with laying out its strategy for the Chinese market. As you may recall, Volvo is now owned by Chinese auto giant Geely and going into the future we’re almost certain to see the world’s most populace country play an increasing role in Volvo’s operations.

For now the soon-to-be built Chengdu plant, and a possible second plant at Daqing, will be used to supply the Chinese market, however, further down the track the plants could be used to build cars for export markets, including the U.S. Production at Chengdu is scheduled to start in 2013 and will top approximately 100,000 cars per year, though this number is expected to grow.

Speaking with Automotive News, Volvo chief Stefan Jacoby confirmed that the automaker is considering building cars in China for export.

"It is obvious that at some point manufacturers will export from China," Jacoby said. "We, as a global premium brand with European heritage, have a very good opportunity to be owned by a Chinese enterprise and to utilize our manufacturing capacities here."

The automaker hopes to double its global sales to 800,000 cars over the next decade, and exporting lower cost cars from China will certainly help.

Volvo currently builds cars in its home market of Sweden as well as in Belgium and China. Pictured above is the long-wheelbase S80L sedan built and sold exclusively in China.

[Automotive News, sub req’d]