RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (AP) – Volvo has broken ground on its first auto manufacturing plant in North America – a $500 million facility in Berkeley County about 30 miles northwest of Charleston.
Volvo North American CEO Lex Kerssemakers (KEHR’-say-may-kurz) announced Friday the plant will build the company’s new S-60 sedan, a car under development in Sweden.
Kerssemakers said the plant will be capable of making 100,000 cars a year. It will also manufacture a second model to be announced later.
He was joined by Gov. Nikki Haley, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt and other state and local officials at the site off Interstate 26 near Ridgeville.
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.
The ground for the plant has already been cleared. Foundation work begins after the first of the year.
The plant would contribute approximately $4.8 billion in total economic output on an annual basis.
The first car is expected in 2018.