May 23, 2015:
Volvo Cars Selects Berkeley County for First Manufacturing Facility in Western Hemisphere
COLUMBIA, SC – Volvo Car Corporation has selected Berkeley County, South Carolina for its first manufacturing facility in the Western hemisphere. The new $500 million factory highlights the attraction of the United States as a location for high-technology manufacturing. The plant is expected to create 2,000 new jobs over the next decade and up to 4,000 jobs by 2030.
The new facility will have an initial estimated annual production capacity of around 100,000 cars. Located in northwestern Berkeley County on a portion of the Camp Hall site, the plant will manufacture latest-generation Volvo models for sale in the United States and for export. Construction will begin in early fall 2015, with the first vehicles expected to roll off the assembly line in 2018.
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. Additionally, the new U.S. 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 U.S. in 1955. With the development of an American factory, the company crosses an important threshold from an automotive importer to a domestic manufacturer.
Volvo Cars’ location decision 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. In the broader scope, Volvo Cars’ selection of the Palmetto State underlines the success of South Carolina’s robust automobile industry. Today, the state is home to more than 250 automotive-related companies and suppliers and, as a result, leads the nation in the export of both tires and automobiles.
With today’s announcement, South Carolina’s strong auto industry looks to get even stronger. An economic impact analysis compiled by Dr. 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. Operating with 2,000 employees, the plant would contribute approximately $4.8 billion in total economic output on an annual basis.
Additionally, the development of the Camp Hall site will lead to the preservation, restoration and enhancement of more than 1,500 acres of wetlands in a critical, neighboring watershed that is a priority of Audubon South Carolina.
“This new global industrial footprint and a complete product renewal forms the foundation for Volvo Car Corporation’s growth and profitability targets.” –Volvo Cars President and Chief Executive Håkan Samuelsson
“Building a plant in the U.S. is a reflection of Volvo Cars’ commitment to the U.S. and the key role the U.S. plays in our growth objectives. The U.S. remains one of the most dynamic economies in the world and Volvo Cars believes strongly in the benefits of investing and contributing to the markets in which it seeks to sell cars.” –Volvo Cars of North American President and CEO Lex Kerssemakers
“Today’s announcement is proof that Berkeley means business. In less than 100 days, we were able to accomplish what normally takes a year or more to complete. My team and I are committed to doing all we can to make Berkeley County a place where families and the next generation can not only live, but also work. This is the teamwork that Volvo Cars can count on to ensure job-creating opportunities exist today, tomorrow and 40 years from now.” –Berkeley County Supervisor Bill Peagler
“This is a landmark moment and truly a great day in South Carolina as we welcome Volvo Cars’ first American manufacturing plant to our state. By bringing $500 million in new investment and 4,000 jobs to this community, Volvo’s presence and commitment to Berkeley County and the state will be felt for decades to come. We are proud to have this global leader in car manufacturing join and strengthen South Carolina’s automotive industry.” –Gov. Nikki Haley
“South Carolina is leading the pack in advanced manufacturing, and we’re excited to celebrate the decision of yet another global leader that our state is ‘Just right’ for business. As the proud home of Volvo Cars’ first American plant, we look forward to watching their Berkeley County operations thrive, contributing to the success of the company’s ventures in the U.S. and around the world.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
ReadySC™, a division of the S.C. Technical College System, is assisting with the recruitment and training for positions at the new plant. All information on hiring will be posted as available on the ReadySC portal at www.readysc.org/Volvo/. Potential suppliers or vendors interested in doing business with the company should contact the South Carolina Department of Commerce by completing an online information form at www.sccommerce.com/VolvoCarsSC or by emailing VolvoCarsSC@sccommerce.com.