Volvo expanding US production plans in South Carolina

Key Points
  • Volvo is expanding plans for a plant near Charleston, South Carolina, sources tell CNBC.
  • These people say Volvo intends to hire an additional 1,900 works and boost its investment in the plant to $1 billion.

Before the first car even rolls off the assembly line of a new production plant just outside Charleston, South Carolina, Volvo is expanding plans for the plant.

A Volvo and shovels are displayed at the ground breaking for Volvo's first auto assembly plant in North America, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, near Ridgeville, S.C. The company announced that the $500 million plant will make its new S60 sedan, which is currently under development in Sweden.
Bruce Smith | AP

Sources tell CNBC that the automaker intends to hire an additional 1,900 workers and increase its total investment in the plant to $1 billion. A spokesperson for Volvo would not comment on reports about the increased investment in the U.S.

The Volvo plant in Ridgeville, South Carolina, will build the S60 sedan with the first models expected to roll off the line in 2018. When the company announced plans to build its first U.S. plant, it indicated that the facility would also supply another vehicle in addition to the S60.

"The South Carolina factory is very important for Volvo," Lex Kerssemakers, CEO of Volvo North America, told CNBC last month. "It is a very clear signal that we are dedicated to the U.S. market."

Source: Volvo

Once the plant is up and running at full capacity, it is expected to produce 100,000 vehicles per year and employ 3,900 people.

Volvo, which is owned by the Chinese automaker Geely, is coming off of record sales in the U.S. in 2016. Last year, the automaker sold 82,726 vehicles in the U.S., according to the automotive research firm Autodata. Despite U.S. sales falling 7.3 percent this year, Kerssemakers is optimistic about Volvo's position in a highly competitive market.

"We clearly see a momentum and you can imagine we are very happy with the momentum we have created in the U.S. since the past two years," he said.

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