Currently reading: Volvo S90 production moves to China
The S90 and some future 40 and 60-series models will be built in the home of Volvo’s parent company, Geely

Volvo Volvo S90 saloon production is to move from Europe to China, with production of future 40 and 60-series models also set to begin in the country.

Production for the range-topping S90 and the newly launched, China-focused long-wheelbase models, the S90 L and S90 Excellence will be handled in Daqing in the Heilongjiang province of northern China. Up until now the S90 has been built in Torslanda, Sweden.

Volvo, which is owned by Chinese car maker Geely, also confirmed that a large number of 60-series models, such as the Volvo S60 and its Volvo V60 estate equivalent, will be built in Chengdu, in western China’s Szechuan province.

More compact 40-series models will be built at Geely's yet to be finished plant in Luqiao, which lies 200 miles south of Shanghai. The site will also be responsible for producing models for Geely’s new LynK&Co brand, which are built on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture.

Speaking today at the launch of the long-wheelbase S90 models in Shanghai, HÃ¥kan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo, said: “With three plants – and the designation of one car line for each plant – Volvo creates an efficient production structure ensuring future capacity for growth.”

199966 Volvo s90 excellence exterior rear 3 4

Lars Danielsson, Volvo's senior vice president for the Asia Pacific region, added: "We are leveraging our advantage of being one company [with Geely] instead of a joint venture [in China]. China is replacing the US to become the world’s biggest premium car maker with over two million this year.

"Our mission with to become the world’s most progressive automotive brand."

Volvo’s new Chinese sites will join its two European plants, one in Sweden and another in Belgium, which will continue to make certain 90-series and 60-series models. A new plant in South Carolina, USA, will eventually join the list and make 60-series models primarily for the North American market.

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China is a fast-growing market for Volvo. It sold 54,496 units there in the first eight months of 2016, 10% up on the year before.

In comparison, Volvo sold close to 44,000 cars in Britain last year, but it hopes to increase that number to 60,000 by 2020.

Volvo S90 L and S90 Excellence

199962 Volvo s90 excellence full interior

Two new versions of the S90 have been launched into China. The first, the S90 L, is a 120mm-longer version of the S90 saloon designed to offer more rear leg room.

The second, the S90 Excellence, is a three-seat S90 a based on the L's stretched underpinnings. It ditches the front passenger seat in order to improve front-facing visibility for the rear passenger, replacing the missing seat with a touchscreen infotainment system.

The model is designed specifically for the Chinese market, where wealthy passengers are often driven rather than driving themselves. Volvo said it could offer both the S90 L and Excellence to other markets should there be enough demand, but added that the UK was an unlikely candidate.

Geely's Brexit confidence

The chairman of Chinese car maker Geely doesn’t believe Britain’s ejection from the European Union will affect its relationship with China.

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Li Shufu said he thinks the trend of growing ties between the UK and China would continue into the future, despite concerns the Brexit vote would make Britain a less attractive place for foreign investment.

“We respect the decision made by the people, and so the relations with China will continue to develop,” he said. “We have no plans to change our investment in Britain.”

Geely is a parent company to the London Taxi Company, based in Coventry. The firm has recently ramped up investment to produce low-emission vehicles such as the TX5 taxi.

“Our focus with the company remains the development of the TX5,” said Li. “Then there is the LCV, an urban electric logistics vehicle, which will serve the European market first before being exported.”

Read more: Volvo S90 Excellence revealed: new three-seater saloon for China

Volvo interior design to be headed up by Chinese R&D centre

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Mikey C 2 November 2016

S90

While China might be the main market for the S90, producing them all in China is likely to be pretty detrimental to sales elsewhere. I can't see buyers of luxury cars wanting to buy a Chinese made one yet.

Having said that, they've got away with claiming in adverts that the V40R is made in Sweden, when it's actually made in Belgium...

MrsChippy 2 November 2016

S90

Thanks Mikey, you saved me the trouble of articulating the same point. Until now, Volvo have done a pretty good job of obfuscating the fact that they are owned by a Chinese company. In one asinine step, they've undone that work. Who would buy a Chinese made S90 over a German made E-Class or 5 Series?
Citytiger 2 November 2016

Lets also not forget

the 60 and the 40 range are due replacement in the next 12-24 months, so it will probably be the replacements that are going to be built in China, not the current ones.
klaskent 2 November 2016

Natural

In the automotive business it is part of the manufacturing strategy to produce the cars close to the market. It would not make sense to produce a big saloon in europe when its main markets are America and China. It is different from the home electronics business where you produce where you have the cheapest labour. As said in the press release, the 60 and 90-series will be produced in Sweden, except the saloons. The 40-series in Belgium and some kind of saloon in America. It is stupidity to produce something expensive as a car and then ship it to China and pay a lot of tolls etc.