There may have been a time when Volvos were made exclusively in Sweden, but those days are long behind us. By now it manufactures some models in China, and will soon start assembling them in the United States as well – including the next-generation XC90.
The flagship crossover will be the second model, alongside the S60, that will be manufactured at the new plant the Scandinavian automaker is building in Charleston, South Carolina.
Production of the next-gen S60 is set to come online next fall, giving Volvo a year to unveil the new mid-range sedan. The new XC90 will follow sometime in 2021, giving the current model another four years of life.
The move towards local manufacturing for the XC90 makes sense, considering that the US is the model’s single largest market, accounting for some 83,000 units last year alone.
The current, second-generation XC90 was introduced in 2014 as the first in a string of new models coming down the line from Gothenburg, followed by the new S90 sedan and V90 wagon. The company just unveiled the new XC40, which will spearhead a new entry-level model line (to include an S40 sedan and V40 wagon), with the new 60 series to slot in between and replace the long-serving current line.
To make that plan a reality, Volvo is investing over $1.1 billion and hiring nearly 4,000 employees between the two assembly lines. The expansion will bring annual output up to 150,000 units, many of which will be sold domestically, with others shipping out to other markets from the Port of Charleston.