Volvo: China's premium production
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Volvo is quintessentially Swedish, right? Well, not entirely. For the past six years, the Scandinavian car maker has been owned by Chinese giant Geely -- the biggest motor manufacturer you've probably never heard of.
In Shanghai last week, bosses unveiled a new top-of-the-range Volvo S90 Excellence limousine, which has just three seats.
It dispenses with the traditional front passenger seat, replacing it with a unit containing a high-tech pop-up touchscreen for work or leisure use, while creating more legroom for the VIP in the back.
Volvo bosses say the vehicle is also a step towards the driverless car, which the company says will be on the road by 2021.
The S90 is significant because by 2020 one in three of all Volvos will be built in China, rather than Europe, said Li Shufu, chairman of Chinese parent company Zhejiang Geely Holdings, and Volvo chief executive Hakan Samuelsson, who jointly unveiled it in Shanghai.
For those who like their creature comforts, the Volvo S90 offers a champagne cooler with hand-made crystal glasses, a cupholder that will keep your tea or coffee warm, as well as an adjustable footrest.
More radically, there is a pilot assist system which could allow the driver to take his or her hands off the wheel for short periods of time at speeds of up to 130km/h.
The car will be built at Volvo's Chinese factory in Daqing and exported around the world. Volvo also announced it was opening another factory, its third in China, at Luqiao, about 320km south of Shanghai.
Samuelsson said: "China will play an increasingly important part in our global manufacturing ambitions. Our factories here will deliver world-class products for export across the globe in coming years ... the new S90 will be the most premium car built in China."
Engines will include T4 and T5 petrols, and a plug-in hybrid T8 that will sprint from rest to 100km/h in 5.3 seconds.
Other models to be built in China include the next generations of the smaller family V40 hatchback and the XC60 sports utility vehicle.