The Swedish luxury automaker Volvo Cars, owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, has decided to produce its next generation of small cars in Europe, more precisely in Belgium, as well as in its adoptive country – China.
The news comes from the most trustworthy sources of all – the company’s chief executive officer and Volvo Cars President, Hakan Samuelsson, who referred specifically to the new small car to be developed on a common architecture and engine technology with its Chinese parent. The company has already decided the new model would see the light of day when it comes out of its Belgian plant, while the production in China has not been voted yet – though it would most likely receive approval. Samuelsson also commented that thanks to the help of China’s Geely, Volvo has finally found the needed partner to share the burden of developing and manufacturing a competitive small model – since Volvo’s road there had always been less than profitable. Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely, which also has among its brands the London Taxi Company – the provider of the well known black cab – had initially acquired the ailing Swedish automaker from the second largest US automaker, Ford, back in 2010.
“We have decided we will be using Ghent for Europe,” commented the executive, talking about the Volvo assembly facility in Ghent, Belgium. “In China, we have to look into this, and we are not decided.” The company’s Chinese options span across three different factories – two already available facilities in the southwestern city of Chengdu and the northeast city of Daqing, and the commissioned automobile assembly plant in Luqiao, a district of the eastern China city of Taizhou.