At a press conference held earlier today in Beijing, Chinese-owned Volvo Cars announced plans to build a new plant in the city of Chengdu and continuing investigations for a second factory in Daqing, in north-eastern China. Volvo said that the deal is still pending approval from the Chinese government.
"We regard the Chinese market as the second home market for Volvo Car Corporation and a very important part of the plan to build a successful future for the company," said Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.
The Chengdu assembly plant will only build Volvo cars and have an initial output of around 100,000 cars annually, with production estimated to start during 2013. Volvo said that the decision to expand in China will not affect operations and employment in Europe.
"We will build an entirely new plant in Chengdu and further investigate the opportunities for establishing an additional factory in Daqing," said Jacoby. "Our production in China will, however, not have any impact on decisions affecting capacity utilization of our plants in Sweden and Belgium" says Stefan Jacoby.
The Swedish automaker, which was acquired from Ford by China's Geely in 2010, also announced that Shanghai will serve as Volvo Car China's headquarters and centre for product development, design and sourcing. "Among other priorities, Volvo Car China will also support Volvo Corporation R&D in Sweden regarding the development of electric vehicles and hybrids," the company said in a statement.
"The Volvo Car China Technology Centre in Shanghai will develop into a complete product development organization on an international level," said Freeman Shen, Volvo Car Corporation SVP & China Operations Chairman. "It will have the competence and capacity to work together with the HQ in Sweden, participating in Volvo Car Corporation's work process for developing entirely new models."
Volvo said that it plans to increase its business presence in the China and aims to reach a sales volume of about 200,000 cars a year in the country by 2015. The company's global retail sales during 2010 reached 373,525 (an increase of 11.2 per cent compared to 2009), with only 30,000 of those sold in China.