Volvo Cars has chosen South Carolina as the location for their new USD500m factory. The new facility will be located in Berkeley County, close to Charleston, SC and will produce about 100,000 vehicles annually. The factory will produce the latest generation of Volvo models that will be for sale in the US and for export. Construction of the facility will begin early fall 2015, with the first vehicle expected to roll off of the assembly line in 2018.

“Building a plant in the US is a reflection of Volvo Cars’ commitment to the US and the key role the US plays in our growth objectives,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Senior VP Americas.

According Volvo Cars the decision to choose Berkeley County was taken because of its easy access to international ports and infrastructure. Having a well-trained labor force, attractive investment environment and experience in the high tech manufacturing sector was also a factor.

Volvo Cars estimates that the plant will employ up to 4,000 people in the longer term. It has been estimated that the multiplier effect of a car plant means that it can create between 5 and 7 new jobs for every job at a plant.

Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina, said: “By bringing $500 million in new investment and 4,000 jobs to this community, Volvo’s presence and commitment to Berkeley County and the state will be felt for decades to come. We are proud to have this global leader in car manufacturing join and strengthen South Carolina’s automotive industry.”

Volvo Cars has been doing business in the US since 1955 and has a medium term target to sell at least 100,000 cars a year. Volvo Cars already operates two plants in Europe and two in China.