Volvo, which is owned by Chinese automaker Geely as well as the Chinese government, has started vehicle production at a second plant in China. The new plant is located in the city of Daqing, which owns 37 percent of Volvo, and at present is building the original XC90 for the Chinese market where it is sold as the XC90 Classic. Volvo’s other Chinese plant is located in the city of Chengdu and at present is responsible for a long-wheelbase version of the S60 that will eventually be exported to the U.S.

The Daqing plant, meanwhile, will soon be tooled up to start production of vehicles based on Volvo’s new SPA platform, starting with the S80-replacing S90 luxury sedan due out in the next year or two. The Daqing plant will also produce the second-generation XC90 at some point. These Chinese-built models are expected to remain in China for the time being.

The plant employs around 700 staff and has a capacity of 80,000 vehicles, though this is expected to be expanded once the new SPA-based models start production there.

Volvo says its decision to add production in Daqing highlights its growing commitment in China, which is expected to become the automaker’s single biggest market this year. Volvo says it expects to sell more than 80,000 vehicles there in 2014 and sees this growing to around 200,000 vehicles in the longer term.

“Daqing will become an integral part of our global industrial footprint,” Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said in a statement. ”We are pleased to announce that we are going to introduce SPA and a new sedan here.”


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