Volvo selects South Carolina for first American factory, will invest $500mStaff writer ▼ | May 11, 2015
Volvo Cars has chosen Berkeley County, S.C., as the location of its first U.S. factory, investing up to $500 million in a facility with a capacity to initially produce up to 100,000 cars per year.
Auto industry Up to 100,000 cars per year
Once completed, Volvo Cars will be able to manufacture vehicles on three continents, underscoring its position as a truly global car maker. It already operates two plants in Europe and two in China. The new US plant forms part of an ambitious medium term expansion plan to double global sales, boost market share and lift profitability.
Volvo began importing cars to the US in 1955. With the development of an American factory, the company crosses an important threshold from an automotive importer to a domestic manufacturer.
The decision to choose Berkeley County was taken as a result of its easy access to international ports and infrastructure, a well-trained labor force, attractive investment environment and experience in the high tech manufacturing sector.
Volvo Cars estimates that the factory will employ up to 2,000 people over the next decade and up to 4,000 people in the longer term. An economic impact analysis compiled by Frank Hefner at the College of Charleston estimates that, for an initial 2,000 direct jobs, more than 8,000 total jobs would be created as a result. The plant would contribute approximately $4.8 billion in total economic output on an annual basis. ■