Volvo Ready To Launch China-Manufactured Electric Car

Volvo is ready to strengthen its presence in both China and the global electrified vehicle market through a battery electric vehicle launch.

The Swedish automaker is preparing to manufacture its first all-electric model in China, with an official launch expected next week at Shanghai’s auto show, sources told Automotive News Europe. It’s expected to launch in 2019 and will be exported for global sales.

Details haven’t been released on the vehicle’s classification and size, but it has been identified as an electric car. Sources said it will be an all-new Volvo model, but didn’t identify what body type will be used.

It will be built on the compact modular architecture (CMA) that the automaker co-developed with Chinese owner Zhejiang Geely Holding’s sister brand Lynk & Co, according to sources.

Prior to automaker Zhejiang Geely’s 2010 acquisition of Volvo from Ford Motor Co., the Swedish automaker had no presence in the Chinese market. Zhejiang Geely has invested about $11 billion into Volvo and plans to make the subsidiary well established in the world’s largest auto market.

The new electric car will be manufactured at Volvo’s plant in Luqiao, in the southeast section of China. It will be made alongside CMA-based models such as the all-new XC40 compact SUV, which launches later this year, and Lynk’s first vehicle model, the 01 crossover.

Sources also said Volvo will simultaneously develop electric cars built on the its larger scalable product architecture (SPA).

It’s all part of Volvo’s master plan of putting one million electrified vehicles on roads by 2025. The company says that will include plug-in hybrid versions of every future model in the Volvo lineup.

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For now, about 14 percent of the XC90 SUV’s global sales are plug-in hybrids. Volvo forecasts about 15 percent of the new second-generation XC60 crossover will be plug-in hybrid sales.

China is becoming central to Volvo’s future. The company recently moved production of the Volvo S90 from Sweden to China. The flagship sedan will be exported to Europe and the U.S. and other global markets from its factory in Daqing. The current and next-generation versions of the 60-series midsize cars will be made at a factory in Chengdu.

The company expects that about one-third of the 800,000 vehicles it will be selling in 2020 will be manufactured in China.

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