Following up on its announcement last month that it would invest up to $500 million to build its first-ever American assembly plant, the Chinese-owned Swedish automaker revealed that it will construct that facility in the state of South Carolina. To be located in Berkley County outside of Charleston, this new ultra-modern facility will turn out the latest-generation Volvo vehicles - including the new XC90 - starting in 2018. Construction is set to commence this fall and initially the plant will create about 2,000 new jobs to meet a projected 100,000-unit annual build target. However, the Volvo says site and the labor force could be substantially expanded to accommodate any increased demand. 

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Like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Volvo chose the South Carolina location for a variety of business-related reasons, citing easy access to international ports and infrastructure, a well-trained labor force, attractive investment environment and experience in the high tech manufacturing sector as the key factors. "This new global industrial footprint and a complete product renewal forms the foundation for our growth and profitability targets," said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Car Corporation. Volvo, which began importing cars to the U.S. in 1955, currently has four other assembly plants in operation, two each in Sweden and China. Although most vehicles made in South Carolina will be headed for showrooms here, some are expected to be exported to other markets. 

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