Cars will be transported on rails, not on water.
Volvo is happy to announced it has shipped the first China-produced S90 sedans to Europe. “The most premium car ever made” in the People’s Republic will arrive at a distribution center in Zeebrugge, Belgium, later this week. More precisely, tomorrow, May 31, which coincides with China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang visitation in Belgium.
This delivery marks the first time a car manufactured in China is being transported to the Old continent by train via the country’s new “One Belt, One Road” trade initiative. The Swedish brand says that using the recently opened China-Europe railway link cuts the transportation time by two thirds compared to the naval route, meaning customers will receive their cars faster after ordering.
Volvo says not only customers will be getting their cars faster than before, but also the environmental impact of logistics operations will be reduced, as CO2 emissions per ton/kilometer are reduced by a third compared to sea transport. Cars will be transported between the factory and Belgium in specially designed containers, which carry around 225 vehicles.
In November last year, the Swedish company started building the range-topping S90 Excellence (pictured below) in China and very soon all S90 models will be manufactured exclusively in its Daqing factory with global export. Initially, the Daqing - Zeebrugge train will make travels once a week, but with the growing production volumes this number will also significantly raise.
The S90, and its long-wheelbase S90L variant, is the second model to be exported from China to different markets around the globe after the S60L. Available in the United States as the S60 Inscription, the vehicle has a stretched wheelbase providing an extra 3.4 inches (8.6 centimeters) of rear legroom compared to the regular S60.
Recently, Volvo also confirmed production of the next generation 60-series models of the marque will take place in Chengdu, Szechuan province in Western China. The upcoming 40-series will eventually be manufactured in China too, at a new factory currently being built in Luqiao located 217 miles (350 km) south of Shanghai.