Watch: First Volvo XC40 SUVs roll off the line
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A new era starts for Volvo’s plant in Ghent, Belgium today as the first customer-bound XC40 small SUVs roll off the production line.
The new XC40, for which the company has already received over 13,000 orders, is Volvo’s first ever small premium SUV. New Zealand customers can expect to take delivery of their new XC40 in April 2018.
The Volvo XC40 is about to enter the fastest growing segment in the automotive industry, joining its larger XC60 and XC90 cousins. The XC40 will also completes Volvo’s global SUV line-up.
“This is a proud day for Ghent, the company and all our employees here,” said Volvo cheif executive and president Håkan Samuelsson.
“Our people have put in long days and many hours to prepare the plant for the start of XC40 production and they have done a great job. The XC40 represents a bright future for Ghent and for Volvo Cars.”
The new XC40 is the first model on Volvo Cars’ new modular small car platform, the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which will underpin all upcoming cars in the 40 series.
Preparations for the production start of the XC40 in Ghent have been ongoing for a long time. Considerable investments in recent years have transformed the Ghent plant into a global export hub for CMA-based cars, including an 8,000 square metre addition to the body shop.
A total of 363 new robots have been installed, including one which has been nicknamed “the Beast” by Ghent employees. This large robot, unique within Volvo Cars’ global manufacturing system, is used to lift lower car bodies to a conveyor belt close to the ceiling of the plant.
Ghent is one of two car manufacturing plants operated by Volvo Cars in Europe and has produced Volvos since 1965.
Until recently it produced the first generation of Volvo’s best-selling XC60 mid-size SUV, while the Ghent plant also builds the V40 and V40 Cross Country small hatchbacks as well as the S60 and V60.