AUTOMAKER SEEKS TO DOUBLE ITS STATESIDE SALES TO 100,000 UNITS
Volvo Cars is planning to build its first US assembly plant as part of a push to increase sales.
The Swedish automaker says it has a shortlist of possible places for the US$500 million ($670m) plant and will announce the location in the next few months.
Chinese automaker Geely Holding has owned Volvo since 2010. It has two plants in Europe and two in China.
Chairman Hakan Samuelsson said the decision to open a US plant highlights Volvo’s long-term commitment to the US: “Volvo Cars cannot claim to be a true global car maker without an industrial presence in the US.”
Volvo has sold cars in the US since 1955 but struggled after its sale to Ford Motor in 1999. Its products couldn’t compete with newer rivals from Audi and others.
Geely bought Volvo from Ford for US$1.8 billion, a fraction of the US$6.4 billion Ford paid for it.
Now, its hoping new vehicles — including the upcoming XC90 SUV, on sale in New Zealand this year — and a bigger manufacturing footprint will help it double its US sales to 100,000 over the next few years.