• Jan 21, 2011
2011 Volvo XC60 R-Design – Click above for high-res image gallery

New Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby has stated publicly that the Swedish automaker plans to double global sales to 800,000 units per year by 2020. That's a significant increase by any measure, and the company's popular XC60 crossover appears to be a big part of those plans. Automobile reports that the Geely-owned automaker plans to increase production of the popular crossover to 100,000 units globally, with quite a few of those extra units reserved for the rebounding U.S. market. Volvo is reportedly optimistic that it can increase XC60 sales by eight percent over 2010 levels.

We guessing Volvo can increase production at its existing plants to nudge XC60 sales beyond the six-figure mark, but to hit 800,000 total units per year, a new plant is likely needed. It just so happens Volvo is planning a new factory in China, and Automobile cites a report by The Wall Street Journal that suggests the idea is being kicked around to build vehicles in the emerging market and ship a portion of them them to our shores.

The plan makes abundant sense from a cost standpoint, but the move would have to be approved by the Chinese government. It should help that Volvo is owned by a Chinese automaker, and we're thinking it's only a matter of time before "Made in China" will include cars and trucks 'round these parts before too long.



Photos copyright ©2010 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: Automobile]


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  • 44 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Planned obsolescence means that most of what is made in China will be thrown away in two years, if that. Chinese quality control reflects this but sadly consumers would rather just buy the same product over and over again at a lower price than pay a little more for something that will last. Anyone who has ever used Chinese tools will agree with me; the castings are porous, the materials are substandard, and the workmanship is poor.

      I wouldn't buy a car made in China just because I refuse to reward Volvo's cost savings through cut rate manufacturing methods.
        • 3 Years Ago
        What would you think Volvo's manufacturing operation in China is sub standard? AFAIK most foreign brands' automobile assembly plants in China are state-of-the-art, some even surpass NA standard. Also the notion that automobile manufacturers will operate in a sweat shop kind of fashion is absurd. I doubt Chinese auto assembly line foremen are less educated than North American ones. Note there is a huge difference between Chinese domestic brand and foreign ones, the best example is that Brilliance, it makes both BMW 3/5 series, and its own brand cars. The BMW ones are close to Germany-made ones, but the Brilliance China brand cars suck.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's not that Chinese workers are any less capable of building good cars, it's that moving manufacturing to China usually indicates a company's commitment to lowering costs rather than to raising quality. I'm sure there are some top notch manufacturing operations in China but unfortunately there are way more that rely on rock bottom labor prices to compete. People who don't get paid much and aren't treated well usually don't care about quality control.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Chinese have all sorts of regulations they are supposed to meet yet ignore. That's how we get poisonous toothpaste, poisonous baby formula, poisonous dog food, poisonous toys, toxic drywall- they all were supposed to meet certain requirements. The telephone or keyboard example doesn't hold up because you buy a new one every year or two and if the cheapest-to-manufacture one of those fails, no one dies.

      I will not drive a Chinese car but more importantly, I don't want the guy behind me to be driving one.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The problem with Chinese made goods is a culture problem. When you have a society where the individual life is not considered important. Safety and quality will always come second to profits.

      There is a difference with a Chinese assembled product and a Chinese made product. Foreign companies go to great lengths to insure their brand is not tarnished when making items in China. Yet even with the work they do, bad items still slip through. Fisher Price lead toys come to mind, the company making these products for Fisher Price knew exactly what they were putting in it and who the user of these items would be.

      Why would it be any different with Cars ? Were Volvo still owned by Ford and made cars in China I would still worry about owning one, but with them owning Volvo no way in hell you will ever catch me putting my family in one.
      • 3 Years Ago
      And Walmart should get the exclusive rights to sell them in their stores.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Volvo in the US is a dying brand as it is. I see very few reasons to buy a Volvo even being sympathetic to Swedish brands (I'm a Saab owner). A chinese-made Volvo would give me precisely zero reasons to buy one.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "joe23521

        If the quality is up to standard, I don't see any reason to care where it is made. "

        That's a big if. Also, some people do care that what they buy is not made using near-slave labor. I guess you are not one of them. Do you buy Nike shoes made using child labor as well?
        • 3 Years Ago
        If the quality is up to standard, I don't see any reason to care where it is made.

        Chinese companies only make junk because they choose to for the sake of profit, not because they can't make good products. And I think Geely is smart enough to know that they have to keep up the quality of Volvo if they want it to succeed.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Volvos dying? When was the last time anyone said anything positive about a Saab product. I see more volvos daily then saabs and when I do see a saab its normally an old bubble back. Volvo will be fine, their designs are there, the safety is there, now they need to focus on reliable performance and their golden.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "If the quality is up to standard, I don't see any reason to care where it is made. "

        The same reason(s) as always: racism, xenophobia, bias, ignorance, and/or discrimination.

        "That's a big if. Also, some people do care that what they buy is not made using near-slave labor. I guess you are not one of them. Do you buy Nike shoes made using child labor as well?"

        Fact of the matter is if not China, then India, or Africa, or parts of South America, or parts of Eastern Europe. If you are so adamant about unfair labor practices and wages you probably shouldn't even be using your computer right now.

        Messed up part is very often the supposed increase in the quality of goods produced in "developed" countries often do not warrant the increased prices and that most people can't even afford these goods, now whose fault is that?
      • 3 Years Ago
      I could care less if you Americans think Volvos are crap if they are Chinese-made. Chinese-made J-10B stealthy fighters are top notch. http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Sinocanard.html

      • 3 Years Ago
      UGH!!!! I told my sis to look at this car. Glad she went with the new X3. At least it's made here in the U.S. China? Really? If Volvo does that, count ME out from then on.

      • 3 Years Ago
      Those here who think Made in China makes a car less sell-able is delusional. Cars these days already have "Made in China" parts in it. Your "all American" made GMC vehicles are already assembled from parts made in Mexico with ECU Chips made in China. The rare earth metals to make Hybrids come from China. I really don't think the general consumer will know or care where the car is made. They see Volvo, they think Sweden, they see GMC they think American. When you see Sony, you think Japanese, when you see Hewlett Packard, you think American, you see BOSCH, you think German, you see PRADA, you think Italian. Yet all of those brands have majority of their products made in...you guessed it China.
        • 3 Years Ago
        And that's the reason why cars have problems; their parts are made in china. If the whole thing were made in china, can you imagine the kinds of problems we'd have? I'm talking about disintegrating brake calipers(something even korea still has problems with), frames that split in half over a pothole, doors that won't close, hoods that fly open on the highway. Think of how many times the stuff you've bought that's made in china has completely crapped out, and imagine that happening to your car.

        If you own a vw, it's sorta like that.
        • 3 Years Ago
        That was meant at Emsan.. does it mean we must continue to buy everything from China.... including completely assembled vehicles?
        • 3 Years Ago
        But, does that mean its unstoppable?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Not quite. A car purchase is a pretty major expense for most people and I assure you most people would take it much more seriously vs buying a $5 t-shirt or even a $500 laptop. When buying a chinese product, the expectation is that you'll pay less because "slave" labor (that's essentially what it is, given how much they are getting paid) was used to built it. On top of that, Volvo is a very niche brand, they cater (or try to) to higher educated/income buyers. We are not looking at the Corolla/Civic/Elantra demographic here. That buyer wants "swedish" and that includes "made in sweden".

        The other thing is that the labor component of building a car is not that much, maybe around 10%, therefore, using chinese labor would not really bring the cost down that much. Only by cheapening the parts would substantially bring the cost down. And you still have to ship the final product :) . If anything, the "cheapest" option for Volvo might be to build cars in the US for the NA market, but I don't think they have the money or resources for something like that.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx1
        You've just described American cars from the '60s and '70s.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Greely exec : "Hmmm ... labor for $70 per hour or $5 per day. Let me think about it."
        • 3 Years Ago
        Unfortunately, when the American worker is "out of work", especially due to it being moved overseas, he won't have the $15,000 for the Chinese built Volvo either. I've never been big on buy American, but I've got to draw the line somewhere.... might as well be Chinese-made vehicles.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "and china has no natural resources"

        Is this a joke?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Watch out Toyota, China is coming to eat you, alive. Imagine, a C90 for the price of a Yaris.
        • 3 Years Ago
        and unfortunately the average american will sit there and go, "hmm, a Volvo for $15,000 or a Toyota for $20,000?"

        I can totally see China-Mart and Volvo getting together in the future.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Fitfan - Not really a joke.

        Baosteel is a customer of my parents. China's Iron Ore is mostly imported; as their iron ore supply is small vs. demand. In fact, demand is highly outstripping most natural resource supplies; and is starting to get heavily regulated in china.

        There is no wood and wood pulp supply in China, most of it comes from Russian timber and timber/ recycled pulp from the US.

        Oil is imported

        Coal is plentiful, but China is fighting an air pollution issue and is starting to quickly obsolete coal fired plants.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't get this part:

      "The plan makes abundant sense from a cost standpoint, but the move would have to be approved by the Chinese government. "

      Maybe the Chinese gov will not approve? wat?
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't see why "Made in China" is a huge problem all of a sudden. 90% of the things you own are made in China.

      And it really makes no sense to bash Volvo for being made in China on the premise of reliability, as you guys beat down the doors for a Range Rover ("Indian made") with CONSISTENTLY bad reliability for 30 years.
        • 3 Years Ago
        All of a sudden? No, 'Made In China' has been an ongoing problem b/c the products are inferior, and sometimes unsafe. Drywall that rots a house? Made in China. Lead-paint toys? Made in China. Formula w/toxic levels of melamine? Yep, there too. I can list all the products I HAD to buy from MiC b/c no other place made them. And I have yet to have ANY product - at any price - last more than 3 years for bigger-ticket items, and less than 1 year for apparel and such. Chinese quality is like Government ethics - pure oxymoron in combination. And it would be stupid to pay dozens of thousands on unproven Chinese cars, until they had at least a decade of proof (like Hyundai has done).
        • 3 Years Ago
        superx1919: All those problems are down to the purchaser going for the lowest cost possible. And surprise, low price equals low quality.

        Your phone was made in China. Is it low quality? Mine isn't. I have lovely Nike sneakers, made in China, that are excellent quality. The keyboard I'm writing this on was made in China. Most of this computer was made in China. It's working brilliantly. Mind you, it was not ultra cheap. In fact computer components costs quite alot of money, but less than they would if they were made in France.

        I happen to know the quality index of Volvos factories in China. I will not go into specifics but suffice to say I wouldn't feel any less safe in a chinese made Volvo than I would in one made in Sweden or Belgium.
        • 3 Years Ago
        My LG phone (top @ one point) has the worst battery I've ever seen. And I bought the most expensive heater they had, and I never buy the cheapest thing. But EVERYTHING in these stores are MiC, and they fail quickly. The problem is that every price point is the cheapest item, and it is due to people buying the cheapest for so long that Chinese products became the sole things available, Look @ HD - they still charge the same $$$ for their stuff, and all their apparel and most of their bling parts are Chinese. But the chrome pits fast if you do not keep it dry and polished every day, and the leather wears quickly..I have a rather high-priced laptop (19" screen, BD), and the battery died after 1 year and the BD drive tray broke its ejector spring. Chinese parts. So don't try to pass it off as some $1 bargain bin. It is every Chinese thing I've used, and I know many others who can say the same thing.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess China is the manufacturing center of the world.
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