Berkeley County, South Carolina, has been chosen as the site of the first American Volvo Cars factory, Volvo said on Monday.
“This new global industrial footprint and a complete product renewal form the foundation for our growth and profitability targets,” Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo, said.
Volvo will invest up to $500 million in the new plant, which will initially produce as many as 100,000 cars annually.
The factory will be located just outside of Charleston and will produce the latest Volvo models. The cars produced at the plant will be sold in the U.S., as well as exported.
Ground on the facility will be broken in early autumn, and the first vehicles should roll off the assembly line sometime in 2018.
The South Carolina plant is expected to employ up to 2,000 people over the next 10 years, and up to 4,000 people eventually. The plant will add about $4.8 billion in total economic output annually.
With the completion of the South Carolina plant, Volvo will be manufacturing vehicles on three continents. The company currently operates two plants in Europe and two in Asia, both in China.
Volvo has been exporting cars to the U.S. since 1955.
“We’re excited to build our first American factory in South Carolina, and we look forward to helping grow the local community and economy.” Lex Kerssemakers, president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, said. “We were impressed with the friendliness, work ethic and passion of the people in the Charleston area.”
Berkeley County was chosen by Volvo for many reasons, including easy access to international ports and infrastructure, a skilled labor force and experience in high-tech manufacturing.
“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,” South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said. “Volvo’s presence and commitment to the community 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.”