Update: The livestream has ended, but you can re-watch it here.
The day has finally come for Volvo to introduce the all-new S60 and to also unveil the company’s very first U.S. factory where the sedan will be assembled beginning with this fall. Before the car debuts in just a few hours from now, the Geely-owned brand is giving us a first look at its manufacturing plant located in Charleston, South Carolina from where the S60 will be exported worldwide.
The factory can put together up to 150,000 cars per year at full capacity and will also be responsible for production of the next-generation XC90 beginning with 2021. Volvo broke ground at the new facility back in 2015 and over the coming years it will invest approximately $1.1 billion and create about 4,000 new jobs at its new plant in Charleston.
The company goes on to mention about 1,500 people will be employed by the end of 2018 at the new site. The facility located in South Carolina covers 1,600 acres while the building spaces occupy 2.3 million square feet. This U.S. plant joins two manufacturing factories in Europe where Volvo also has an engine plant. In China, where parent company Geely has its headquarters, Volvo utilizes three car factories and an engine plant.
Following an extensive teaser campaign, the next-generation S60 will premiere today during a special event that will be livestreamed beginning with 11:45 AM ET / 3:45 PM GMT. The featured version is expected to be the new Polestar Engineered model set to be positioned on top of the range, above the T8 Twin Engine. It will have not only a little bit more power, but also some other hardware upgrades inherited from the Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid coupe.
The S60 is the penultimate new Volvo to be released before the end of the decade, with the next-gen V40 coming in 2019 to be the last one.
Gallery: 2019 Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered
Volvo Cars expands global manufacturing footprint with first US factory
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, today inaugurates its first US manufacturing plant, in Charleston, South Carolina, establishing the company as a truly global car manufacturer with plants in all three major sales regions.
The establishment of a state-of-the-art production facility in South Carolina follows Volvo Cars’ global manufacturing strategy, ‘Build where you sell.’
The company’s first US facility complements its two manufacturing plants and an engine plant in Europe, three car factories and an engine plant in China, and assembly plants in India and Malaysia.
The Charleston plant starts production of the new Volvo S60 premium mid-size sports sedan, based on the company’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, in the fall of 2018. From 2021, the factory will also build the next generation of the Volvo XC90 large premium SUV. Cars built at the plant are destined both for the domestic US market and international export.
“The Charleston plant establishes the US as our third home market,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “The sedan segment and the SPA platform’s proven ability to boost profitability offer significant growth opportunities for Volvo Cars in the US and globally.”
Volvo Cars is investing around USD 1.1 billion in its US manufacturing operations and will create around 4,000 new jobs at the Charleston site over the coming years. Approximately 1,500 staff will be employed by the end of this year.
“The opening of our first American factory is a very big deal,” said Anders Gustafsson, president and CEO of Volvo Car USA. “Our US business is developing well, our cars have won prestigious awards, and the new South Carolina facility will be a big asset to both Volvo Cars and the community.”
The new Charleston facility includes an office building for up to 300 staff from R&D, purchasing, quality and sales. The plant can produce 150,000 cars per year at full capacity. The site occupies 1,600 acres and the building space covers 2.3 million square feet. Construction on the facility broke ground in 2015.
The company will build plug-in hybrid cars at all of its car plants globally. In 2017 Volvo Cars was the first global car maker to announce its strategy that from 2019 all new models will be electrified.