Volvo car to be built at Berkeley County plant site unveiled
BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - We've been hearing about it for years now, and finally, the Volvo Car manufacturing plant in Berkeley County is open for business.
It's the first Volvo plant ever in the United States.
On Wednesday, Volvo unveiled the redesigned S60 sports sedan that will be made at the Berkeley County plant.
The atmosphere was like a New York high end fashion show, except most of the runway participants, were showing off their Volvo employee uniforms.
"On my line, we install the doors on every car that leaves this place," a bodyshop employee said."Volvo coming to South Carolina for me personally, it promotes growth in the Lowcountry as well as job security for myself and our futures. I am proud to say I am from South Carolina."
The cars will start rolling off the line in late August, early September of this year and once the plant is up to full capacity, they will be able to manufacture 50,000 of the cars every single year.
The head of the American division says the United States is definitely where Volvo needs to be expanding.
"Our American business is developing extremely well with strong growth. Sales this year are up 41 percent," said U.S. CEO Anders Gustafsson.
In addition to the S60 car, the plant will also pump out the XC90 SUV, starting in a few years.
That will put production at 150,000 vehicles a year, once at full capacity.
"Of course our idea with those cars is not only produce for the US, it's to export. Half of the production will export," said Javier Varela, SVP of Manufacturing & Logistics.
Volvo says it is proud to open its first auto manufacturing facility ever in the United States, bringing with it some 4,000 jobs right here to the Lowcountry.
While Volvo is ready to roll, it's still hiring and training.
The S60 will be available at different price points ranging from $35,800 to $55,400 based on a variety of features.
Plans for the facility have been in place for some time and it's expected to create more than 4,000 jobs by 2030.
The cars themselves will be shipped out through the port of Charleston. Volvo's collective investment in the plant has soared north of $1 billion.
The new facility includes an office building for up to 300 staff from R&D, purchasing, quality and sales.
The plant can produce 150,000 cars per year at full capacity. The site occupies 1,600 acres and the building space covers 2.3 million square feet.
Volvo is headquartered in Sweden and the plant is its first in North America.
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