To accelerate growth and catch up with leading German premium brands, Swedish luxury carmaker Volvo Car Corp plans to start local production in China in the last half the year, reports China Daily.
A new Volvo vehicle plant in Chengdu will begin operation before the end of the year, said Doug Speck, the company’s senior vice-president for marketing, sales and customer service.
Volvo was acquired by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co in 2010. A big part of its plans to revive the Nordic brand is leveraging the potential of the Chinese market through local production.
In the first quarter of 2013, Volvo’s sales in China totaled 13,780 vehicles, up 26.6 percent from a year earlier. The strong performance made China the company’s fastest-growing market worldwide in the first quarter and the second-largest in sales.
Speck forecasts the premium car market in China will increase more than 10 percent this year and Volvo expects to grow with the segment or outperform it.
To meet the goal, the company plans to bring six new or upgraded models to China this year including the all-new V40 launched shortly before the Shanghai auto show. The V40 is between 239,900 yuan and 325,900 yuan. It is equipped with the T5 engine with maximum power of 213 hp.
A company statement said the premium compact hatchback was an immediate hit after it went on sale in Europe last year and is expected to be equally well received in China.