Volvo to Hire 1,200 New Employees

Goal is to develop electric cars

Volvo, now owned by China's Geely, said Tuesday it would hire 1,200 new employees, mostly engineers, over the next year to hike production and develop electric cars.

"The majority of the new recruitments will be engineers within research and development where the company needs among other things new competence in the field of electrification," the company said.

Some 1,000 people, including 900 engineers, will be hired in Sweden, while 200 new employees will be hired to work at Volvo's largest plant in Ghent, Belgium.

Volvo cars employed 19,500 people at the end of 2010, some 12,900 in Sweden and 4,500 in Belgium.

The number of Volvo employees shrank heavily during the crisis in the auto industry in 2008 and 2009. In 2007, some 24,400 people worked for Volvo.

But sales bounced back 11% last year and China's Geely, which bought Volvo from Ford in August 2010, hopes to double sales over the next 10 years, mainly for the Chinese market.

It hopes for total Volvo sales to reach 800,000 by 2020, up from 373,525 cars in 2010.

To reach its goal, the company plans to invest $11 billion in China over the next five years and to open a plant there in 2012 or 2013.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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