Volvo to Build Second Plant in China

Plant will produce 113,000 sedans, XC60 SUVs and multi-purpose vehicles, with total annual capacity of 80,000 units by 2015.

Volvo, owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, will invest $708 million to build a second plant in China, the world's biggest auto market, the environment ministry in Beijing said.

The automaker, which was bought by Geely last year, will pour 4.58 billion yuan into the plant in northeastern Daqing, with operations scheduled to begin in 2013. The plant will produce 113,000 sedans, XC60 sport-utility vehicles and an unspecified multi-purpose vehicle, with total annual capacity of 80,000 units by 2015, according to the statement.

Geely, parent of Hong Kong-listed Geely Automobile Holdings, bought Sweden-based Volvo from Ford in August for $1.5 billion.

It unveiled a plan in February to turn China, which overtook the United States as the world's largest auto market in 2009, into a major manufacturing base for Volvo by investing $11 billion over the next five years. Volvo's chief executive Stefan Jacoby said then that the company aims to boost China sales to 200,000 units by 2015, nearly seven times the 30,500 sold last year.

In 2010, Volvo sold 373,525 vehicles worldwide, with sales rising by 29% in northern Europe and 36% in China.

The company also plans to build a first factory in the southwestern city of Chengdu.

Early this year, Volvo launched a China headquarters and research and development centre in Shanghai.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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