If you live in Europe and recently ordered aVolvo XC60 SUV, chances are your vehicle will be delivered from China.
Volvo has announced it started exports of the XC60 midsize crossover from China to Europe as the company plans to use the Asian country as a production hub for global markets.
The Volvo XC60 is assembled in the south China city of Chengdu from where it is shipped by train to Ghent, Belgium as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. The first shipment of XC60s arrived in the Belgian port earlier this month on their way to 25 European countries. Those include Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
Up until now, the XC60 sold in European markets was built at Volvo’s plant in Torslanda, Sweden. While not confirmed, the move is likely caused by theU.S.-China trade war. According to areport from last year, Volvo planned to use the European plant to export XC60 SUVs to the United States in order to avoid the 25 percent tariff imposed by the Trump administration on Chinese-built vehicles. Previously, XC60 models sold in the U.S. were imported from China.
With the opening of the South Carolina plant in February 2019, Volvo USA has already solved the problem of theS60 sedanwhich used to be imported from China since 2015.
The XC60 is not the first China-built Volvo model that the carmaker has exported to Europe. In 2017, the Geely-owned Swedish brand started shipping the S90 executive sedan from Daqing, a city in northeast China. Interestingly, the trains that ship XC60 SUVs to Belgium go back to China loaded with XC90 SUVs made in Torslanda, Sweden and V40 hatchbacks made in Ghent, Belgium.
China is Volvo’s largest market worldwide so it makes sense for the carmaker to build a large share of its cars there. The brand sold 67,741 vehicles in China in the first half of 2019, up 10 percent over the same period in 2018.