2021 XC90 Production to Take Place at S. Carolina Plant

Volvo’s newest plant in South Carolina is still under construction, but the next-generation XC90 SUV is slated to be built on its premises once building is completed.


Photo Source: Volvo Cars

Volvo’s total investment in the construction has reached $1.1 billion. They were initially building a $500 million assembly plant near Charleston, schedule to open next fall and produce the S60, a sedan currently being built in China. When production in China is phased out in 2019, the United States will become the only global source of the S60 sedan.

We originally heard that the plant was designed to accommodate production of a second vehicle, and we now know it is the XC90. The decision to produce these specific vehicles came from a list of similarities between the two, making the production of these models more compatible at this plant.

  • The XC90 and S60 are on the same Scalable Platform Architecture which makes assembly easier.

  • The XC90 launched in 2015 so by spring of 2019 it will be the oldest vehicle in the lineup and the timing makes the most sense.

  • Given the popularity of larger SUVs in North America, a U.S. assembly plant will be beneficial to the Volvo brand since the U.S. is the XC90’s biggest market

The new plant broke ground in September of 2015 and the 1,500-acre site will house the plant, a test track, training center, and office building for 300 R&D, purchasing, quality, and sales staff.

The plant intended to produce 60,000 S60 sedans a year, half of them for export. But because of the size of the land and building space, production will most likely increase to 150,000 vehicles a year with the additional investment in equipment and labor.

The South Carolina plant will mark the fifth for the automaker. Volvo currently has two manufacturing plants in Europe and China, with a third Chinese plant under construction.

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