Volvo exports first China-made S90s to Europe - by rail

The first cars will arrive in Zeebrugge, Belgium.

  • Image Credit: Volvo Cars
Volvo is gradually laying more and more production on its Chinese foundations. The first European-bound, Chinese-built S90 sedans have been transported to Belgium via a new train connection, and Volvo says it's the first carmaker to use the train link to bring over cars from China. Reportedly, the new "One Belt, One Road" solution slices 66% off the delivery time compared to shipping the cars in a regular fashion.

Each train takes 120 cars, and every container on the train can accommodate three Volvos. Back in the days when Volvos were boxier, filling a container with them would have been a more Tetris-like effort, but Volvo says the S90s are fitted inside the container in various angles to maximize space efficiency and then strapped snugly in place so they do not move or chafe during their long journey to Europe.

At first, there is one European-bound train leaving the Daqinq factory every week, but there are plans to ramp this number up as production volumes grow. Following the US imports of the Chinese-made S60 Inscription versions, the Chinese export S90 production began with the top-specification cars, but will be expanded to all S90 models later on.

After a nearly 5,000-mile transport, the arrival of the cars has been timed to coincide with the Chinese Prime Minister, Li Keqiang's visit to Belgium.

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