Volvo has started production of its new XC40 SUV in Europe with deliveries expected to commence from early 2018.
Built on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform developed with parent-company Geely, the XC40 is the first in a new line of small cars from the revived Swedish auto maker. But the baby SUV faces stiff competition in the fast-growing small SUV segment that consists of rivals such as the Audi Q3 and BMW X1.
A facility in Ghent, Belgium has been setup to specialise in production of Volvo’s CMA platform vehicles and has recently undergone an 8000-square metre renovation that consists of 363 new robots, including one called ‘the Beast’ which lifts car bodies onto a ceiling-high conveyor belt. The Belgium site joins Volvo's homeland production line, two plants in China and a new facility currently under construction in South Carolina, USA.
“This is a proud day for Ghent, the company and all our employees here,” said Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson.
“Our people have put in long days and 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,” he said.
Over 13,000 orders have already been placed for the XC40 and it joins the larger XC60 and XC90 in Volvo’s SUV lineup, offering similar looks on a smaller and more affordable scale.
The XC40 will make its first official public debut at the Los Angeles auto show later this month along with the company’s new ‘Care by Volvo’ subscription-based buying experience, which offers a fixed-rate 12-month payment plan with upgrades available at the end of the term. The service will debut with the new SUV overseas but has not been slated for Australia.
The XC40 has been confirmed to arrive here in the second quarter of 2018 with pricing and features yet to be announced.
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