The new Volvo XC 90 front bumper Michael Kovac, Getty Images

Volvo Announces Plans for First American Plant

The Swedish automaker aims to manufacture its first car in America within three years, and could produce more than 20% of its total fleet at a new South Carolina plant.

STOCKHOLM — Swedish automaker Volvo Cars' first plant in the United States will roll out its first car in 2018 and aims to produce 100,000 vehicles per year, the company announced Monday.

Volvo, which was sold to China's Geely in 2010, said it had chosen South Carolina for the site of its $500 million factory.

The Swedish brand, which has been doing business in the United States since 1955, announced in late March that it would open its first factory in the U.S. in a bid to increase its market share, which was less than 0.4% in 2014. The plant will be built in Berkeley County close to Charleston, and will employ as many as 4,000 people in the long term, Volvo said.

"Once completed, Volvo will be able to manufacture cars on three continents, underscoring its position as a truly global car maker," the company said in a statement. "The new U.S. plant forms part of an ambitious medium term expansion plan to double global sales, boost market share and lift profitability."

Volvo currently has two plants in Europe — in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Ghent, Belgium — and two in China, in Chengdu and Chongqing. It also has two other smaller plants in China and Malaysia.

Volvo registered two years of losses before returning to profit in the second half of 2013.

In 2014, it beat its sales record in place since 2007, selling 466,000 cars.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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