2018 Volvo XC40 production begins in Belgium

Article by Christian A., on November 23, 2017

The other day, it was confirmed that Volvo will finally bring the XC40 to US soil, where it will first make an appearance at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. Now, the small crossover will finally hit production phase at the Swedish company’s Ghent plant in Belgium. Having said that, we can expect to see the first batch of production models roll off the production line and head off to their respective owners sometime next year.

This early, the automaker has already received 13,000 orders, so they will definitely be busy producing enough examples of the XC40 in the next couple of months. To be more specific, customers should be able to receive their vehicles early next year, according to Volvo.

Volvo Cars chief executive and president Hakan Samuelsson said that the beginning of the XC40’s production is a special day for both Ghent and Volvo, and this particular model represents a bright future for the aforementioned companies.

If you were not aware, the XC40 is Volvo’s very first to be based on the new CMA platform. Developed together with Geely, this platform will also be the base of all future models of the 40 series. Furthermore, Volvo’s plant in Ghent will be expanded and restructured so that they could meet the requirements of the new production process. Right now, models that are currently being built and assembled there include the V40 and V40 Cross Country hatches, as well as the S60 and V60.

All in all, Volvo has built over 363 new robots in the factory, and one of the robots they built is called “The Beast”. The so-called Beast is a large robot that is unique to the automaker’s global manufacturing system. Its main purpose is to lift lower car bodies to the conveyer belt close to the ceiling of the facility.

In the United States, customers can already order their XC40s from dealerships, where each one costs around $35,200 for the all-wheel drive T5 from the base Momentum trim, while they can opt for a more high-end version that is the R-Design that has a price tag of $37,700. The latter also comes with the same T5 AWD setup. For the range-topping XC40, just be ready to shell out $45,935.

In the summer of 2018, Volvo will also be expanding their lineup with the addition of the more affordable front wheel drive T4 that will have a starting price of $33,200.

To remind you of what powers the XC40, the current Volvo carries a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine. And soon after its release, expect to see a plug-in hybrid and a fully electric version of the model as well.

Press Release

Production of Volvo’s first ever small premium SUV begins in Belgium

A new era starts for the Volvo Cars plant in Ghent, Belgium today as the first customer-bound XC40 small SUV is set to roll off the production line.

The new XC40, for which the company has already received over 13,000 orders, is Volvo Cars’ first ever small premium SUV. The first customers can expect to take delivery of their new XC40 early next year.

With the XC40, Volvo Cars enters the fastest growing segment in the automotive industry and the car paves the way for continued sales and revenue growth for the company. Joining its larger XC60 and XC90 cousins, the XC40 completes Volvo’s global SUV line-up.

The arrival of the first XC40 will be welcomed by a number of high-profile guests, including Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, Volvo Cars chief executive and president Håkan Samuelsson and Javier Varela, Senior Vice President Manufacturing and Logistics at Volvo Cars.

“This is a proud day for Ghent, the company and all our employees here,” said Mr Samuelsson. “Our people have put in long days and many hours to prepare the plant for the start of XC40 production and they have done a great job. The XC40 represents a bright future for Ghent and for Volvo Cars.”

The new XC40 is the first model on Volvo Cars’ new modular small car platform, the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which will underpin all upcoming cars in the 40 series. The CMA platform, co-developed with Geely, will provide Volvo Cars with the necessary synergies and economies of scale for the small premium car segment.

Preparations for the production start of the XC40 in Ghent have been ongoing for a long time. Considerable investments in recent years have transformed the Ghent plant into a global export hub for CMA-based cars, including an 8,000 square metre addition to the body shop.

A total of 363 new robots have been installed, including one which has been nicknamed “the Beast” by Ghent employees. This large robot, unique within Volvo Cars’ global manufacturing system, is used to lift lower car bodies to a conveyor belt close to the ceiling of the plant.

Ghent is one of two car manufacturing plants operated by Volvo Cars in Europe and has produced Volvos since 1965. Until recently it produced the first generation of Volvo’s best-selling XC60 mid-size SUV, while the Ghent plant also builds the V40 and V40 Cross Country small hatchbacks as well as the S60 and V60.

Volvo Cars’ other European plant is located in Torslanda in its home country Sweden. The company also operates two vehicle manufacturing plants in China, while a US plant is under construction in the state of South Carolina and slated for opening in the second half of 2018.

Source: Volvo

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