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Volvo's Belgium plant starts it's first ever small premium SUV production

Published On Nov. 24, 2017 By Shubham

Volvo Cars plant in Ghent, Belgium has started a new era as their first customer bound XC40 small SUV is roll off the production line. The company has already received more than 13000K orders for the new XC40, which is Volvo's first ever small premium SUV. The first customers can expect to take delivery of XC40 early next year.

Volvo Cars enters the fastest growing segment in the automotive industry with XC40, and the car paves the way for continued sales and revenue growth for the company. Joining its bigger cousins XC60 and XC90, the XC40 completes Volvo’s global SUV line-up.

High profile guests will welcome the arrival of new XC40, that includes Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, Volvo Cars Chief Executive and President Hakan Samuelsson, and Javier Varela, Senior Vice President Manufacturing and Logistics at Volvo Cars. Volvo's CEO Mr Samuelsson said, “this is proud day for Ghent, the company and all our employees here. Our people have put in many hours to prepare the plant for the start of XC40 production and they have done a great job. The XC40 represents a bright future for Ghent and for Volvo Cars”.

The new ‘XC40 is the first model of Volvo Cars’ new modular small-car platform, the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which will underpin all upcoming cars in the 40 series. The CMA platform, co-developed with Geely, will provide Volvo Cars with the necessary synergies and economies of scale for the small premium car segment. Preparations for the production start of the XC40 in Ghent have been ongoing for a long time. Considerable investments in recent years have transformed the Ghent plant into a global export hub for CMA-based cars, including an 8,000 sq. m. addition to the body shop.

In Europe, Ghent is one of the two car manufacturing plant which is operated by Volvo Cars and has produced Volvo's since 1965. Until recently it produced the first generation of Volvo’s best-selling XC60 mid-size SUV, while the Ghent plant also builds the V40 and V40 Cross Country small hatchbacks as well as the S60 and V60. To boost the production of XC40, a total 363 new robots have been installed, including one which has been nicknamed “the Beast” by Ghent employees. This large robot, unique within Volvo Cars’ global manufacturing system, is used to lift lower car bodies to a conveyor belt close to the ceiling of the plant.

Volvo Cars’ other European plant is located in Torslanda in its home country Sweden. The company also operates two vehicle manufacturing plants in China, while a US plant is under construction in the state of South Carolina and slated for opening in the second half of 2018.