China's State Council has approved "in principle" Volvo Car's proposed plant in Daqing, according to the municipality’s Web site. The proposed Daqing plant will be the carmaker’s second plant in China next to its factory in Chengdu, which is slated to commence producing a stretched variant of the S60 in the second half of 2013, local media say.
The CHY4.6-billion ($754 million) site will have an initial annual production capacity of 80,000 vehicles, which would be expanded to 300,000 units at a later stage, the Web site said.
The Daqing site is set to produce gasoline-powered sedans, sports utility vehicles, multi-purpose vehicles and electric vehicles. China requires foreign carmakers to establish joint ventures with local companies before they could start producing in the country.
To comply with the requirement, Volvo will create a joint venture with its parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Daqing has been a major oil boom town in China since the fossil fuel was discovered in the region half a century ago.
The city pledged funds in 2010 to help Geely acquire Volvo from Ford Motor Co.
In exchange, Geely agreed to construct a Volvo assembly plant in the city. Volvo targets to deliver 200,000 vehicles annually in China by 2020, from 44,052 units in 2012, according to LMC Automotive.
Volvo is presenting is newest five-door hatchback in the persona of the new Volvo V40. Designed and engineered to deliver new levels of ride handling, safety and fuel efficiency, the new Volvo V40 features a coupé design that employs styling cues from the C30 coupé and the P1800ES Volvo.
Volvo engineers set out a goal of making the Volvo V40 the class benchmark for dynamic refinement. This is why they paid special attention to its handling and steering as well as agility and ride comfort. Nonetheless, these engineers didn’t take for granted Volvo's reputation for safety leadership.
In fact, the new V60 debuts the groundbreaking Pedestrian Airbag Technology, which would complement the Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake that made its debut on the Volvo S60. Both these technologies would allow the new V40 to offer unmatched protection for both pedestrians and its occupants.
The innovative Pedestrian Airbag Volvo inflates from under the rear edge of the V40 bonnet as soon as the vehicle senses that a pedestrian was hit. Likewise, the raised bonnet helps cushion the impact on the struck pedestrian, with the airbag helping protect the pedestrian's head from the V40’s "hard points" located at the lower A-pillars and at the base of the windscreen. This innovation would greatly enhance road safety as, pedestrians account for 14 percent and over 25 percent in Europe and in China, respectively, of traffic fatalities.