Volvo chooses South Carolina for new auto plant

Swedish car maker, Volvo, has selected South Carolina as the home of its first US auto plant.

The premium automaker this week announced the state as the location for its new $500m (US) factory in Berkeley County.

The new auto plant’s initial operations will produce about 100,000 cars and will eventually employ 4000 workers.

Construction is set to begin later this year with the first vehicles expected to be produced in 2018.

Volvo confirmed in March their plans to build just their fifth global manufacturing plant in the US, joining two facilities each in China and Europe.

Volvo senior vice president Americas, Lex Kerssemakers, said the new US plant was part of the company’s commitment to and alignment with one of the world’s largest economies.

“Building a plant in the US is a reflection of Volvo Cars’ commitment to the US and the key role the US plays in our growth objectives,” he said.

“The US remains one of the most dynamic economies in the world and Volvo Cars believes strongly in the benefits of investing and contributing to the markets in which it seeks to sell cars.”

Volvo has also said that it could not claim to be a true global car maker without a US manufacturing presence.

The new US plant comes in response to Volvo sales in the country falling 8% last year, with the company setting a goal of doubling its US sales in coming years which will coincide with the first cars coming off the new plants assembly line in 2018.

In contrast to last year’s decline in US sales, global sales for Volvo in 2014 reached a record 465,866 cars, an increase of 8.9% on 2013.