Volvo will start making cars at its first China plant in 2013, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday, as it moves to bolster the vintage Swedish marque in the world’s largest auto market.
“Volvo will hold a press conference this Friday in Beijing, and things will be made clear at that time,” said Liang Nan, an official with the Chengdu municipal government. Volvo’s China strategies will also be unveiled at the press conference.
The new Chinese factory will have an annual capacity of over 100,000 cars, and may open in early 2013, spokesman Olle Axelson said prior to the board’s vote.
It will also look further into opportunities to set up manufacturing facilities in the Shanghai area in eastern China and in Daqing in the northeast, said the person.
Zhejiang Geely bought Volvo from Ford Motor Co. in August for about $1.5 billion. Expanding in China is key to Volvo’s goal of doubling sales to 800,000 cars in 10 years, Chief Executive Officer Stefan Jacoby has said.
Volvo currently makes its S40 and S80L models for China at a factory co-owned by Ford and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co.