Now, who didn’t see this coming? According to a recent report, Volvo is getting ready to build a new plant, and it’ll be located in the Chinese province of Sichuan, specifically, the capital of Chengdu.
Aside from being known for spicy food, Chengdu is regarded as one of the most modern cities in the country. Automotive News’ source says the official plant announcement is due this Friday, February 25, with a groundbreaking ceremony to come on March 1.
The Chengdu location will be Volvo’s first new facility in China. The automaker currently utilizes production at a plant co-owned by Ford and Changan to build the S40 and S80L sedans for the Chinese market. According to Volvo spokesperson Olle Axelson via AN, the Chengdu factory will likely churn out 100,000 vehicles per year and could be open for business as soon as 2013. Whether these Chengdu-built cars are due for export to the United States remains to be seen.
One fact is for certain. Volvo realizes sales in China are critical to reaching their annual volume goal of 800,000 vehicles in 10 years. Volvo wants to sell at least 250,000 by 2015, comprising over 30 percent of that 800,000-unit goal. Last year, the company moved 30,522 in the growing Asian giant. In the U.S., the total damage was 53,948 cars and crossovers sold in the same year.
Though Volvo has never been known for its mainstream volume appeal, they’ll presumably take comfort knowing Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz had all struck it big in sales in 2010. With 18.1 million new-car sales (up 32 percent) last year, China is expected to continue heading north. Maybe Volvo’s owner Geely can use some of its own magic after selling over 415,000 vehicles.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)