Volvo Cars Breaks Ground on First American Factory
RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (September 25, 2015) Volvo Cars of North America President and CEO Lex Kerssemakers, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and other key public officials officially broke ground on Volvo Cars’ first American factory in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Construction has now begun on the factory site, which will be capable of producing up to 100,000 cars per year.
“Today’s groundbreaking proves that Volvo Cars follows promises with action,” said Lex Kerssemakers, “Volvo is moving quickly to expand its presence in the United States with new cars, new engines and now, a new factory.”
Upon opening, the Berkeley County, South Carolina factory will be the global production home of the all new S60 Sedan, which is currently under development at Volvo Car Group headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. American built S60s will be exported around the world through the Port of Charleston, along with another model yet to be determined. The first South Carolina-built Volvos are expected to roll off the assembly line in late 2018.
The groundbreaking comes as Volvo’s global transformation and U.S. comeback takes root. Volvo saw U.S. sales increase by double-digit percentages over the last two months, with global sales rebounding across car lines. Demand has been strong for the all-new XC90 7-Seat SUV, which was released this summer, and the XC60 5-Seat SUV, which continues to delight drivers.
Volvo Cars estimates that the factory will employ up to 2,000 people over the next decade and up to 4,000 people in the longer term. An economic impact analysis compiled by Dr. Frank Hefner at the College of Charleston estimates that, for an initial 2,000 direct jobs, more than 8,000 total jobs would be created as a result. The plant would contribute approximately $4.8 billion in total economic output on an annual basis.
Polestar confirms multi-year STCC program with Cyan Racing
Polestar, the performance brand of Volvo Cars, will be on the grid of the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship in 2016 with Cyan Racing and two Volvo S60 race cars driven by Prince Carl Philip and a yet-to-be-named driver.
Polestar has joined forces with Cyan Racing under the team name Polestar Cyan Racing. Cyan Racing is owned and operated by Christian Dahl, the former owner of Polestar before it was sold to Volvo Cars in July this year.
Polestar and Volvo are old friends, having raced together since 1996, winning the drivers’ championship five times and teams’ championship seven times.
“We are very happy to continue racing in our home market championship and with Prince Carl Philip. This championship and our drivers are a part of Polestar’s heritage, and we wish to continue to build on that,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Vice President and Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
Polestar Cyan Racing has already won the 2015 STCC teams’ championship after the races in Karlskoga and has a double lead in the drivers’ championship ahead of the season finale at Knutstorp on September 25-26th.
“Our sights today are set on securing a new double title. That will also be our ambition in 2016 and in following years. Next year will be our 21st season in Swedish motorsport, a true milestone for us,” said Christian Dahl, Chief Executive of Cyan Racing.
Prince Carl Philip will start his fourth STCC season in 2016, following a record-breaking season in 2015 where he scored a maiden victory and broke into the top 10 of the driver standings.
“The 2015 STCC season has exceeded my expectations and I am very pleased to confirm a continued program this early. My ambition is of course to step up my performance and results even further next year,” said Prince Carl Philip.
The identity of the second Polestar Cyan Racing driver will be released in due course.
Polestar to remain “dynamic and independent” under Volvo control
Polestar, the performance brand of Volvo Cars, will operate as a dynamic and independent enterprise under Volvo Cars’ ownership, according to Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.
Polestar will have its own management team and will control its own product strategy, research and development, as well as marketing and sales, Mr Samuelsson said.
Polestar will also continue its motorsport activity in the 2016 Scandinavian Touring Car Championship alongside Cyan Racing, the new racing team set up by Christian Dahl.
“I am keen for Polestar to remain as entrepreneurial as possible,” said Mr Samuelsson. “We want Polestar to build on its racing heritage and strengthen its brand by pushing the limits in terms of engineering and technology. The best way to achieve this was for it to work as an independent unit.”
Polestar’s management currently comprises Björn Sällström as chief executive and Niels Möller as chief product officer, reporting to a Board of Directors comprising senior Volvo executive managers.
Volvo Cars acquired 100 per cent of Polestar in July 2015. The two main business areas of Polestar, cars and accessories, will be expanded further and continue to be tied closely with the motorsport programmes in terms of technical development.
In 2015, Volvo expects to sell 750 Polestar versions of the V60 wagon and S60 sedan globally. Polestar sales are forecast to increase to between 1,000 and 1,500 cars a year in the medium term under Volvo’s ownership.