Volvo: New S60, made in the USA
Volvo has announced that the newest addition to its fleet, the Volvo S60, will be produced in their newest factory in Charleston, South Carolina. Volvo has committed to investing $1.1 billion towards the new plant which is expected to deliver 150,000 vehicles per year, when it reaches full capacity.
The S60 is one of the Swedish automaker's best-selling vehicles in the United States. Although in its 8th year, since its 2010 release, the -now- previous generation of S60 is performing very well - in May 2017, it was the third highest seller out of the entire Volvo fleet. The new model, built in South Carolina, is expected to reaffirm Volvo's reputation as the leader in car safety. Gaining new safety features, adopted from XC60, XC90, and the recently released S90, the S60 will also be capable of semi-autonomous driving on clearly marked roads and at speeds up to 80mph (130km/h).
The move by Volvo comes at an interesting time: caught in a trade war with the European Union and China, President Trump has threatened imposing a 20% tariff on car imports from the EU. The threat, delivered three days ago, is seen as a potential retaliation for the European tariffs on American products, which were, in turn, imposed as retaliation to Trump's new tariffs on steel and aluminium imported from Europe. President Trump's threats sent stock prices of European automakers into a downward spiral. Importantly, Volvo's CEO, Mr. Håkan Samuelsson was recently interviewed by USA Today and expressed his support for elimination of all auto tariffs between Europe, China, and the United States.
Volvo's new plant is expected to create 4,000 jobs for Americans, purely in line with President Trump's "Build them here" vision. But could the words of the man running Volvo steer POTUS away from implementing his latest round of threats? It remains to be seen.