They’re boxy, but they’re good: Welcome to Volvo!

At least, they used to be boxy, and that’s the way I still think of them. Lately, I’ve seen some Volvos that I could hardly tell from other cars, and they just don’t have the same cachet.

Here’s hoping they make some boxy ones here in SC:

Volvo announced Monday that it will build a $500 million factory in Berkeley County to produce 100,000 cars a year.

Construction on the Swedish automaker’s first U.S. plant will start this fall with the first cars produced in 2018. The South Carolina plant will add to four Volvo factories in Europe and China, where the automaker’s parent company is based.

Volvo usually makes two models of vehicles at its plants, company spokesman Jim Nichols said. but the automaker has not decided which models will be built in South Carolina.

Volvo could employ up to 2,000 workers in the decade after the plant opens and another 2,000 by 2030, the S.C. Department of Commerce said. The state employs 46,000 automotive-industry workers, including at hundreds of suppliers, according to the S.C. Automotive Council….

I only have one concern: These things last forever. My wife’s still driving the 1998 model she inherited from her Dad, and it’s going strong. How many of these cars are we going to be able to sell if they never break down?

But I kid. I’m a kidder. First BMW, then Boeing, now this. I love the image of South Carolina as a place that builds high-quality rides…

11 thoughts on “They’re boxy, but they’re good: Welcome to Volvo!

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Here’s Speaker Jay Lucas’ statement on the news:

    “Volvo’s decision to build its first American manufacturing plant in Berkeley County is a testament to the hard work of so many, notably Gov Haley and her economic development team, but also the tremendous efforts of state and local policy makers to create a pro-business environment,” Speaker Lucas stated. “Volvo’s potential 4,000 new jobs and $500 million investment in our economy will dramatically expand our state’s automotive and manufacturing base. We welcome Volvo Car Corporation to South Carolina and look forward to watching its success for years to come.”

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    And this is from Lindsey Graham:

    Graham Welcomes Volvo to South Carolina

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on Volvo Car Corporation selecting Berkeley County, South Carolina for its first manufacturing facility in the Western hemisphere. The new $500 million factory is expected to create 2,000 new jobs over the next decade and up to 4,000 jobs by 2030.

    “This is another great day for South Carolina. I spoke with Volvo’s senior leadership several weeks ago and reaffirmed our interest in bringing them to South Carolina. I’m very pleased with the decision announced today. I think it will be a mutually beneficial relationship, for the company and the state, for years to come.

    “I want to thank Governor Haley, Commerce Secretary Hitt, and all the members of Team South Carolina for their hard work on this project. This decision by Volvo says all you need to know about our state’s workforce and opportunity we provide. South Carolina is already home to many of the nation’s leading manufacturers, and we look forward to adding Volvo to the South Carolina family.

    “We are proud to welcome Volvo to South Carolina – the home of Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places.”


    1. Doug Ross

      Everybody’s getting on the Haley bandwagon. Should we change the constitution to allow her to run for a third term? or just make her Governor for life?

  3. Brad Warthen Post author

    And here’s a different viewpoint on the news:

    SC Equality Welcomes Volvo (a pro LGBT corporation) to South Carolina Governor Haley and other conservative members of the SC General Assembly at odds with corporations like Volvo over LGBT Employee Nondiscrimination policies.

    Columbia, SC – Volvo announced today intentions to open a plant in South Carolina, and SC Equality welcomes Volvo and applauds South Carolina for attracting another equality-minded corporation to the state.

    Jeff Ayers, Interim Executive Director of South Carolina Equality, commended Volvo on their anti-discrimination policies and their protections for employees of diverse identities. “It’s encouraging to know another corporation is coming to South Carolina that can improve our economy while supporting its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees,” he said. “We hope that South Carolina lawmakers will recognize that, as companies like Volvo show us, equality is good for business.”

    According to Volvo’s website, they “strive to create an inclusive culture where everyone can contribute to their full potential and be accepted for who they are, regardless of gender, gender identity, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, or disabilities.” They also support an employee resource group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees.

    “As South Carolina continues to work to attract more national and international corporations to our state, it’s important that South Carolina lawmakers pass legislation to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees from discrimination. Even if an employer has inclusive non-discrimination policies, their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees can still be discriminated against in housing and public accommodations in our state—and we want to make sure that that won’t happen to hardworking South Carolinians and their families. We are asking our supporters, pro-business South Carolinians, and the press to ask our legislators and governor how they can continue to support discriminatory laws and a lack of protections in our state when doing so is at odds with what’s best for business,” said Ayers. “The majority of Fortune 500 companies support equality in the workplace. As we saw in Indiana, many such corporations want to ensure that their employees won’t be discriminated against in the states where they and their families live. The anti-discrimination legislation before the South Carolina House and Senate right now will go a long way in showing these companies that we stand for the same pro-business and pro-equality values that they also hold—and that their employees would be safe and welcome in South Carolina.”

    South Carolina Equality is a non-profit organization with the mission to secure equal civil and human rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender South Carolinians and their families, and has a vision of a South Carolina where everyone is equal. For more information, … visit

  4. Brad Warthen Post author

    Joe Wilson’s glad they’re here, too:

    Wilson Welcomes Volvo Car Corporation to South Carolina

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement regarding Volvo Car Corporation selecting Berkeley County for their first manufacturing facility in North America:

    “I’m grateful to welcome Volvo Car Corporation to South Carolina, where our state is the leading exporter of automobiles and tires in the United States. I thank Governor Nikki Haley and the countless county, regional, and state officials who worked tirelessly to make this investment possible. This successful team is in the tradition of the late Governor Carroll Campbell, who recruited the first automaker to the state resulting in thousands of new jobs. South Carolina is a great place to live and work, and our pro-business policies make us a clear choice for economic development.”

    Volvo Car Corporation will begin construction on a $500 million factory to manufacture the latest-generation Volvo models for sale and export this fall. The project is expected to create 4,000 new jobs in South Carolina, and is projected to contribute $4.8 billion annually in total economic output.

    Those interested in joining Volvo Car Corporation should visit

  5. Mark Stewart

    BMW builds about 400,000 cars per year in Greer (or will next year). With 8,000 employees.

    Volvo sells about 55,000 cars in North America, and 465,000 total across the world. Volvo employs 25,000 people – globally.

    Either the politicians are trumpeting unrealistic jobs projections, or the car company is unrealistic in its sales targets. Anyway, I can’t believe news outlets would parrott the 4,000 jobs number if – even in the best case – it happens AFTER 2030. Even the 2,000 Volvo says seems like a stretch number for this plant.

  6. Teresa

    I’m driving the 1997 Volvo I inherited from my mom, and it, too, is still going strong. My teenage son will be driving it to school starting in August, so we’ll just see how indestructible it really is.


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