By on November 14, 2014

Volvo-S60L_P-550x367

With the Chinese-made S60L set to hit the United States next year, Volvo is taking the next step in building luxury cars in China, with plans for a new flagship to be built at a factory in Daqing.

The enhancements to the factory will allow it to build vehicles on Volvo’s new modular architecture. The first product will be an “all-new premium sedan”, expected to be the new flagship S90 sedan. Volvo is gearing up for exports of the S60L, a long-wheelbase S60 made in China, for the 2015 model year. The S60L will be the first Chinese car sold in the United States.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

66 Comments on “Volvo To Build Future Flagship In China...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Well as long as they price it the same as the S-Class [which they will], I’m sure it’ll be a smash hit.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    It will be interesting to see what happens to Gothenburg in the next five to seven years. I’m guessing those folks are screwed unless some kind of nationalist fervor starts up in Sweden.

    Additional: Ford effectively killed Volvo and now Geely is playing Weekend at Bernies with the corpse. I will be truly interested to see what Geely does, but in my view they have two options. The first, sell exploding lease only shop queen cars a-la zee Germans and simply ape the Western “Volvo” name/heritage, or two use Volvo to sell Geely designed/shared models but also offer more “bespoke” or exclusive models which may or may not be designed by Gothenburg. It’s still early but it looks like they may be doing the latter which is what I would do assuming my company could afford it.

    • 0 avatar

      Notice the recent TV ads with the thick Sweedish-accented voiceover?

      Rule 101 of auto advertising – the more tenuous the connection between car and country, the more nationalistic the ad is – see Volvo and Chrysler.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Ford took Volvo’s platforms, then shot it in the head after PAG didn’t work. Once Geely is done Bernie-ing Volvo, it will steal whatever’s left and reanimate the corpse with Chinese technology.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Actually neither, it appears the Chinese are trying to copy TATAwith Jaguar/Landrover. So far fairly successful

    • 0 avatar
      CH1

      Volvo has been producing cars in China for the local market for several years at the Ford-Changan JV plant; starting with the S40 in 2006 and then The S80L in 2009. Volvo is no longer a part of Ford, so the S80L’s replacement, the S90, will move into Volvo’s own plant. Nothing ominous about that.

      Most of the multi-billion investment Volvo has made in new products is in Sweden. That includes development of the Drive-E engines and the SPA platform, as well as new production lines for the engines and the new XC90 in Gothenburg. Development of the new small car platform is also based in Sweden.

      Dead Volvo will post record global sales this year, despite a US sales decline, and it isn’t all because of China. It’s mostly because of growth in Europe.

    • 0 avatar
      Tostik

      Volvo just announced that it’s main Torslanda factory in Sweden will increase production from 200,000 cars annually to 300,000 cars, and employment will be increased by 1,300 people. And the factory in Ghent, Belgium is going full blast, building Volvo’s best seller, the XC60. With some exceptions, most cars sold in the USA will be built in Europe. Most of the Chinese built cars will be sold in China, where Volvo sales are exploding. Li Shufu is handling Volvo very well indeed.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        As noted by me and Chi earlier on this thread Volvo is going gangbusters. Volvo Trucks now a separate entity is vying with Daimler as being the biggest Heavy Truck maker on the Planet

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    “cow goes moo.” Once the Chinese bought Volvo, we all knew this would happen.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yep quite unsurprising. Give it 5-7 years by the time they have all new models, and it’ll get closed.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The Volvo marque will not close, it will become a zombie brand for Chinese junk if all else were to fail Geely. I suspect they will put their best foot forward though with their export models, at least for the time being. What may close would be Gothenburg manufacturing operations, and possibly the whole office therein.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Sorry, I left out some nouns but was referring to the Swedish manufacturing. They’ll move the models over as they get replaced to Chinese manufacture and close out Sweden.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Go back out and get the nouns and could you pick up some adverb for me as I am fresh out?

            Geely has to be careful how they handle Gothenburg. If they wind down the whole office, this is a signal they are going Walking Dead on us and junk will be the order of the day. There also may have been riders to the sale from Ford about keeping X jobs in Sweden for X years. I do not seem them doing this to be quite honest, but I do see a possible end to Gothenburg assembly, I think it depends on how well the Chinese can do it vs the current Swedish operation.

        • 0 avatar
          Tostik

          Wrong! Volvo just announced that it’s main Torslanda factory in Sweden will increase production from 200,000 cars annually to 300,000 cars, and employment will be increased by 1,300 people. And the factory in Ghent, Belgium is going full blast, building Volvo’s best seller, the XC60. With some exceptions, most cars sold in the USA will be built in Europe. Most of the Chinese built cars will be sold in China, where Volvo sales are exploding. Li Shufu is handling Volvo very well indeed.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    To think this company used to make the excellent 240/260 cars, as good as Mercedes at that time.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Yup, and have held up better due to low parts cost. I do see the pre-90 Mercedes running around but many of them have antique/classic plates. I seldom see a well worn Mercedes in ordinary hands, when I do its typically the W124 320 or a W201 190. I once knew a supervisor who inherited a very clean W124 and later traded it on a Prius. While I understood the mileage issues between the two, my thought to him was keep the W124 for when you want to look classy as the dealer would give him no money for it. He made the wrong decision of course, the mileage savings would have easily paid to keep the W124 on the road each year with an occasional “ouch” cost for parts this man could have easily afforded.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Are the W126 models a pain to keep running? They seem like they’d be simple enough to be okay, but maybe I’m wrong.

        I think they are the most stately and tasteful looking MB outside the old Grosser from the late 60s. The W126 will always make you look like old money.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      @Volt 230

      Having owned both several 240s, and several Mercedes from across the same timeframe, I find that utterly hilarious.

      Volvo 240s are decent enough cars for what they are (crude on a good day), but they are in no shape or form competitive with Mercedes of the time, nor were they ever intended to be.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Only late 240s were bordering on Mercedes territory, the 260 was a joke.
      Older Benz are good cars from what I know but yes parts can be pricey.

      I did have the chance to drive a 190 Benz, much smoother in engine delivery than a 240 and the handling was pretty good despite the age, engineering was more sophisticated if abnormal (like thesingle windshield wiper).

      At krhodes1: I have to question that statement seeing some ads from the 70’s that compared Mercedes and Volvos, and how Volvos were cheaper.

      These new Chinese Volvos look like they’re made to take on the Benz, they look roughly the same.

      Old Volvo was hardly all that competitive though realistically, its what made them interesting imo.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @Ryoku75

        Late 240s competitive with Mercedes? ROFL! Mercedes was making the w124 E-class in ’93, a car that might as well be a spaceship compared to a ’93 240. I’ve owned one of those too – a truly fantastic car, even by modern standards. Which it should be, considering what they cost new back in the day.

        Ford had ads comparing the GRANADA to Mercedes back in the day – were they competitors? The Granada was a lot cheaper too.

        The nicest newest 240 I owned was a ’91 wagon, bought in ’95 with fairly low mileage – 75K. A nice car, but even in ’91 it was an antique, and I swapped it for an ’89 745T a year or so later. My first Volvo was a ’76 242 – about the biggest change between the two cars was the ’91 did actually have a driver’s airbag. The ’91 had a more modern fuel injection system (the ’76 could take leaded gas), and a 200cc bigger engine, but actually made a couple fewer hp than the ’76. Minor differences here and there, but basically the same car 15 years later. And the 240 was just a ’66 140 with a nose job. Also the same basic car from the A-pillars back.

        240s are a car whose reputation FAR exceeds its reality. The drivetrains do last forever, but well they should given the (lack of) power output. If you are going to put up with a Swedish antique, buy a Saab 900, they are a heck of a lot more fun, and last just as long, albeit at the price of a bit more maintenance.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    China will be littered with “See Your Volvo-CadillacLWB-Buick-Saab Dealer Today!” freeway advertisements/signs from coast to coast soon

    Coming at them with length.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Volvo went downhill with the 850 and its derivatives, POS machines that used to need constant repairs.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      They went trendy and paid for it with their future.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        They actually tried to make a competitive car with the 850. And it was. That it was not as tolerant of neglect as the tractor with doors that is the 240 is irrelevant.

        They could barely give away the last 240s when the 850 came out – my local dealer had brand new 240s in late ’94, and waiting lists for 850s. The only people who would buy new 240s today are all on forums like this one, and even then would only actually buy them used.

        Great car in 1975, doddering fossil by 1993. It should have been shot in the head when the 740 came out, and THAT car (as the 940)was a fossil by the mid ’90s too.

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          So they did what they and every other manufacturer had to do to stay competitive but just sucked at it more?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          What happened to those waiting list folks after the first few years of the 850? Were they also clamoring for the S80 when it was announced or had they moved on to other brands?

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Judging from Volvos sales trajectories, they mostly moved on.

            The 850 was a reasonably competitive car for its time. I like the Saab 9-5 better, but that came out 5 years later. I would actually say that Volvo was doing OK right up to the first S60. That car was pretty good, not unreasonably expensive until you got to the R models, roomy and attractive. That gen V70 was a lovely car. They lost the plot on the latest S60. Too cramped, too much money. The V60 is too small for the money, by a lot. Until the very latest, all the engines were ancient and inefficient, except maybe the V8, which nobody bought.

            I don’t think there was ever much demand for the S80, it has been a perennial also-ran since day 1. I had one for a rental in San Jose last weekend, as it happens. Was like a 5/4ths scale S60. Cushy cruiser, I liked it better than the S60 by a lot, but not something I have any interest in owning. Still very small inside for the class. The pretty basic rental-spec one I had was not completely horrifically priced at ~$47K, but it had about nothing in the way of whistles and bells. Pretty much butt heat and a sunroof.

          • 0 avatar
            bimmermax

            “What happened to those waiting list folks after the first few years of the 850? Were they also clamoring for the S80 when it was announced or had they moved on to other brands?”

            Actually, the S80 had a very successful launch. The Volvo faithful weren’t interested, but the car brought in a lot of people from outside the brand.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Owning one I can see why they were cool at the time, arguably more ambitious than comparable Asian cars of the time and more interesting than comparable domestics.

      They were definitely less Volvo 240 and more Audi in their repair ratio, faulty ABS computers, Service Lights, rather poor interior design as far as DIY goes, Check Engine Lights, rock hard front suspension, and this is all for the plain models. Turbos and AWD models? Forget it.

      I do wonder why Volvo threw out the 850’s passive rear wheel steering and compact transmission design, though were some of the few good things on them!

      Well that and they were very rust resistant, they made need repairs often but you can rest assured that they wont succumb to rust so easily.

      • 0 avatar
        bimmermax

        “I do wonder why Volvo threw out the 850’s passive rear wheel steering and compact transmission design, though were some of the few good things on them!”

        The 850’s suspension was designed for the wagon, it had to take up less space than a multilink design. So, it was only a semi independent unit.
        Volvo used the Aisin transaxles for years. However, even they weren’t compact enough for the S80’s transverse 6, which is why they had the awful GM 4 speed transmissions.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    i assume that these Chinese built cars will use the same parts that they ship to us now, and they stink out loud. I have had CV joints, wheel bearings and alternators all fail on me after only 3 mos of use, I don’t understand.

    • 0 avatar
      anti121hero

      Agreed. I’ve had the same experiences.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      The only thing worse than Chinese replacement parts are Chinese tires.
      Speaking of which, how safe will the new Volvos be with corner-cutting-manufacturer built time-bomb-ticking tires?

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I expect they will be as terrible as the made-in-China iPhones, iPads, and all the other very high quality products that China produces.

      • 0 avatar
        tremorcontrol

        Time bombs anyone? Check out the list of recent recalls for the Germans, Japanese, and American manufacturers.
        http://www.nhtsa.gov/Vehicle+Safety/Recalls+&+Defects

        The more people talk out of their rear ends about high-quality “German engineering”, the more hilarious it gets:

        “November 12: 1,509 Mercedes-Benz C300 and C400 4Matic vehicles from 2015, Recalled for the sliding shaft which may disengage from the steering column, resulting in a loss of steering control.”

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    China buys Volvo. Maybe not a bad idea. Seven million Swedes who know something about a lot of things, including something ‘special’ about making Volvos and SAABs. Swedes will move on. Good luck, not that you really need it.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    Sorry to disappoint you Volvo haters here, but Volvo are opening a nightshift in Göteborg with 1300 new workers.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Anyone who knows the China biz have any suggestion as to why the factory is way up in Daqing? Isolation from the Guangdong corruption culture?

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    So now I’m interested in this and reading about Volvo in China I came across this industryweek.com quote:

    “Volvo, which has an existing plant in the southwest Chinese city of Chengdu, was bought in 2010 by Geely, whose brands — Geely, Gleagle, Emgrand and Englon– are virtually unknown in the West.”

    Gleagle? Is that a cruel joke perpetrated on the Chinese syllabary?

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    If “L” means long version this makes sense since most will be sold in china where people have drivers.

    And it is a Chinese company… why is it surprising they make cars in China?
    Over the long run they may only do RD in Sweden, unless they really really get successful and can command high prices. Then they extend production in china and keep the Swedish factory with some token production to give us the Swedish illusion.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    I bought my Volvo about 6 months before Ford announced the sale to Geely. I was pretty shocked and angry, but decided to wait and see what happened. I’m glad I did, because they have done absolutely nothing to lose my future business. The dealership experience has improved – they have a better scheduling system, they lowered the labor rate and they made pretty much any non-parts fix free if it takes less than an hour. If you take it in for an oil change, diagnostics and software updates are done (for free) while they are doing the change, etc.

    I won’t guarantee that my next car will be a Volvo, but I have no reason not to consider one. And as far as the S60L and new flagship are concerned, it seems to make perfect sense to manufacture the cars in their largest market. If the US or Europe suddenly falls in love with a long-wheelbase version of a Volvo, they would probably start building in in Europe too.

    • 0 avatar
      Tostik

      Ford was slowly starving Volvo of research funds, even before the 2008 economic meltdown–no dis of Ford, they just had no idea what to do with Volvo. Li Shufu’s approval of $11.5 billion in research funds have saved Volvo–Chinese money, Swedish technology! The all new XC90 will go on sale in the US in April 2015–by late 2017 it will be the oldest product in the Volvo line-up.

  • avatar
    Joss

    There was a similar attitude elsewhere when Rolls production began in the U.S…

    The 260 was let down by the PRV. For Volvo in the sixties the 164 was the better luxury reboot.

    Volvo’s a durable brand name. It keeps rising from the ashes like a sphinx.

  • avatar
    tremorcontrol

    Every major car maker from GM to Ford to VW/Audi / M-Benz / BMW has invested BILLIONS in China. Infiniti’s HQ is now technically in China (Hong Kong).

    If you guys were really so serious about protesting China’s involvement with car brands, you should be widening your net. Maybe even take your protest signs down the road to the place you got your car.

    The brands most people are holding up here as the “world standard” have major investments there, are paying BIG money in taxes to the Chinese government (this might be a shock to some of you since you probably haven’t considered this…), and are training people in China how to build high-quality products (I’m guessing it doesn’t do BMW et al. any good in the long term to build sub-par products in China).

    From this site:
    “Hold the usual comments: The quality of cars made at joint venture factories in China is usually indistinguishable from imports. As long as the cars are made from foreign plans, with foreign methods and foreign QA, they sometimes exceed the imports.”

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/it%E2%80%99s-starting-bmw-to-export-made-in-china-5-series/

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Maymar: Asuna also got a version of the Opel Kadett by way of Daewoo (AKA the infamous Pontiac LeMans). Plus, nothing...
  • threeer: Our 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan was a direct result of the adoption of our daughter. We were empty-nesters,...
  • thornmark: not a ‘premium’ car charging premium prices seems like a recipe for success I wonder if Mazda...
  • Lie2me: This buying large crossover/SUVs for a growing family is not a new phenomenon, when I was growing-up...
  • Jeff S: True you can always rent a truck if you need one. Growing up my father always had a station wagon which we...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber