Volvo Selects South Carolina For First-Ever US Factory

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
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volvo selects south carolina for first ever us factory

It’s official: Volvo has chosen South Carolina as the home of its first factory in the United States.

The factory will built north of Charleston in Berkeley County, with construction set to begin this fall. Production is expected to begin in 2018, and up to 100,000 units per year are projected to leave South Carolina once operations commence.

Volvo chose Berkeley County due to ease of international-port access, well-trained labor, experience in high-tech manufacturing, and an environment conducive toward investment. The new location will employ up to 2,000 within the next 10 years, and 4,000 over the long term. The first 2,000 factory jobs are also forecasted to bring up to 8,000 total new jobs, with the plant itself generating $4.8 billion to the economy annually in exchange for a $500-million investment by the automaker.

As for what will be built in Volvo’s new plant, speculation points to the S60, XC60 and XC90, the first two the automaker’s most popular models in the U.S. No official word was given at this time.

[Photo credit: Volvo]

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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22 of 65 comments
  • RideHeight RideHeight on May 11, 2015

    Hunter Thompson once made an analogy to a farmer with terminal cancer borrowing against next year's crop.

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    • Tostik Tostik on May 11, 2015

      With 30,000 pre-orders for the new XC90, and XC60 sales up 53% year-to-date, Volvo is hardly dying. Just a nasty little rumor started by "24/7 Wallstreet".

  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on May 11, 2015

    For nearly 40 years Volvo assembled cars in Nova Scotia (Canada). From Wikipedia: " The Volvo Halifax Assembly Plant located in Halifax, Nova Scotia was opened on 11 June 1963 by Prince Bertil.[1] It was the first assembly plant Volvo opened outside of Sweden and the first non-domestic auto plant in North America In 1967, the plant was moved to a newer 30,000-square-foot (2,787 m2) facility in Clayton Park, Nova Scotia (Bayer’s Lake) which enabled production to exceed 8,000 cars per year. While the plant was very successful,[8] on September 9, 1998 Volvo decided to close the Halifax plant and end its 225 jobs, citing globalization and NAFTA as two of the reasons. The last Volvo was built in Canada on 18 December 1998." The claim that this was the first non-domestic auto plant in North America was new to me. For years I believe that the giant Rootes Motors facility in Scarborough also did some assembly, but I was incorrect in this assumption. Here is a link to an article and a picture of the Rootes facility. Rootes presence in Scarboro is a truly fascinating story that remains to be fully told.

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    • RideHeight RideHeight on May 11, 2015

      @Arthur Dailey Canada has/had Lords? Is that why the guy in your avatar wears a trilby; tugged his forelocks right out?

  • Timer555 Timer555 on May 11, 2015

    If Volvo update their vehices they will have twice as its current sales. Their problem is not the quality.They are known for being very reliable cars and the safest in the world. They have invented many innovations for example the SEAT BELT. And they left the patent opened and this probably have saved millions of lives. If volvo didn't exist some ppl like CoreyDL who criticise Volvo won't probably be alive to criticize it... So their proble is that most of their current vehicles(except the XC90) are extremely dated. They are the same since 2006, 2007, 2008. The other manufacturers changed at least 1 generation since then. Look at Mitsubishi which vehicles are too extremely outdated like Volvo's and becuase of this Mitsubishi had became a low volume manufacturer see this: Their sales have rapidly declined due to dated products and they are nearly to leave US market. Volvo is on the same way but if they update their products they will sell most of the vehicles manifactured in the new plant.

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    • Curious_g Curious_g on May 12, 2015

      You don't seem to be paying attention to Volvo - their products are in no way comparable to Mistubishi in terms of being outdated. What is outdated? The S80/xc70 I suppose, but they have been overhauled extensively with new engines and technology (as have the 60 series cars). Heard of Drive-e ?

  • Hogie roll Hogie roll on May 11, 2015

    I was impressed by my skilled labor workers in charleston sc. Very kind and respectful. Worked very hard and were respectful of the chain of command. Although I've also had mostly good luck in central illinois too. I've avoided having UAW workers like the plague.

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    • Hogie roll Hogie roll on May 12, 2015

      @LectroByte Yes the upper peninsula has some rough spots. I worked near the airport, which was fine. And lived downtown, most of which is fine. Lots of money is pouring into the city and the blighty areas are bound to get driven off the peninsula, to where I'm not sure.