There has been a lot of movement in the Belgian Volvo plant in Ghent. Production of the V60 will be moving from Sweden to Belgium in early 2017. In 2018, production of the new XC40 compact SUV will start up there.
Eric Van Landeghem, managing director of Volvo Cars Ghent previously told BeAutomotive that Sweden had asked the Ghent plant to assemble as many Volvo cars as possible”.
Ghent can handle more cars
Totally in this line, he also raised his hand when management in Sweden was looking for a solution for the V60. This car could no longer be built in the home country since the large XC90 SUV, the S90 business sedan and V90 large break will reach full production speed this year.
Ghent can easily manage the additional car production because it is built on the same chassis as the S60 that is already built there. The V40, V40 Cross Country, XC60 are also assembled in Ghent. This will also make it possible to add the V60 Cross Country and the D6 plug-in hybrid to the assembly line.
Employees trained in hybrid technology
The V60 is introducing hybrid technology to the Ghent production line. “We are also pleased that the move will give Ghent workers their first chance to produce a plug-in hybrid,” says Volvo Car Ghent spokesman Mark De Mey to Europe Autonews. “It’s a good opportunity for us to gain experience in the production of this type of vehicle. We will also be handling the storage of the batteries.”
Volvo has announced plans to offer the fuel-saving powertrain option in all of its future model lines as it looks to get 10 percent of its sales from plug-in hybrids and battery-electric cars in the midterm. The strong push into plug-in hybrids will include the next-generation V40 family that will be produced in Ghent starting in late 2017 on the new compact modular architecture.
XC40 production to start up in 2018
The first CMA car in Ghent is expected to be a compact-sized crossover called the XC40. Production of that vehicle will kick off in 2018. The 5,300 employees in Ghent already knew for some time that they would be able to build the new 40 series.