It’s so exciting when a project of global capacity brings new commerce and new jobs to an area. It does so much to help not only the local economy and community, but also our national economy and further establishes the U.S. as an able and willing global partner.

This past September 25th, I was able to witness a project of this magnitude and potential by being a guest at the official groundbreaking for Volvo's first U.S. assembly plant in North America.

Located in Ridgeville, SC - about 20 miles north of Charleston along I-26 - Volvo has purchased 7500 acres of land and has already cleared 550 acres for the first phase of the plant. Although Volvo has purchased a vast amount of land, much of it will remain permanent wetlands.

Needless to say I was honored, not only because this plant will be the global source of a very special model of Volvo, but also because I was able to be among some amazing leaders in South Carolina and at Volvo. Those in attendance included: South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator, Lindsey Graham, Volvo Cars of North America President, Lex Kerssemakers, and Volvo Vice President, Katarina Fjording, who is also in charge of building the plant.

The SC plant will start producing cars in late 2018 and will be the only global source for the replacement S-60 on the SPA platform. This is monumental because customers all over the world will drive cars made in this factory and most of the production will be exported through the Port of Charleston.

The initial capacity of the plant will be about 120,000 cars per year and employment will reach 2000 people over the next decade. And to show that Volvo is invested in the community, the plant will also have a visitors’ center so people from all over can experience how Volvos are designed, created and marketed. There are also talks of creating a small museum to show Volvo’s progress through history and its vision for the future.

This global project coming to fruition shows that it’s not just about building cars for Volvo. Although Volvo produces some of the most safe and easy-to-drive cars in the world, the company also cares about building and bringing together communities on both a local and global scale.

- Stephen Magowan, University Volvo President.

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