Volvo Expands SC Plant Development by $520M

The car company’s additional investment in the 2.3 million-square-foot factory, currently under construction, will bring a new product line and an office building to suburban Charleston.
Volvo Plant Expansion, Berkeley County, S.C.
Volvo Plant Expansion, Berkeley County, S.C.

Volvo Cars’ 2.3 million-square-foot manufacturing plant in Berkeley County, S.C., is currently under construction and already, the car company has expanded the suburban Charleston project. Volvo just announced its plans to invest $520 million to add a new product line to the industrial facility and build an 88,000-square-foot office building at the campus, bringing the project’s price tag to more than $1.1 billion.

“The continued expansion of our plant in South Carolina is another significant commitment to the U.S. market,” Håkan Samuelsson, president & chief executive of Volvo Cars, said in a prepared statement. “The plant in Charleston will serve both the US and international markets and forms a strong foundation for our future growth in the U.S. and globally.”

Volvo originally planned to build the S60 sedan at the new facility, but with the expansion, it will also produce the XC90 SUV at the site. Additionally, the auto manufacturer will erect an office structure to house the company’s southern regional sales office, R&D and operations management activities, as well as a training center.

A magnet for manufacturing

Manufacturers are fond of the Charleston area. Mercedes Benz Vans is building a $500 million plant in North Charleston. Boeing recently expanded its presence in the market with the completion of a 400,000-square-foot paint hangar. And those are just the big names that are increasing or initiating commitments in the local industrial sector. The Port of Charleston has a little something to do with the bustling activity.

“Representing 10 percent of the state’s economic output, the Port of Charleston has a huge impact on the continued investment in South Carolina’s industrial market by expediting delivery of goods and reducing the cost of transportation for manufacturers,” according to a second quarter 2017 report by commercial real estate services firm Newmark Knight Frank.

With construction of its new Berkeley County manufacturing plant in progress, Volvo expects to kick off production of the S60 in the fall of 2018, and commence manufacturing of the XC90 in 2021. All told, the new campus will result in the creation of 4,000 jobs.