Volvo Gent to build compacts for European and American markets


The Volvo plant in Ghent has been awarded the assembly of the new XC40 compact SUV for all European and the American market in what the CEO calls ‘a growing sector

‘Crucial year’ for factory

The Volvo car assembly plant in Ghent will begin construction of a new compact model later this year, company CEO Hakan Samuelsson said, with a second new model to follow in the years to come. A condition of the work security in Ghent, however, is the passage of new measures to limit labour costs in Belgium.

Later this year, the new model XC40 will begin to roll off the assembly line. “This is a very positive development for Ghent,” Samuelsson said. “2017 is a crucial year for the factory. We will be building the new compact vehicle exclusively for Europe and the United States. The XC40 is an SUV – a fast-growing segment of the market. But all smaller premium cars are a growing sector.”

Volvo Gent will invest €200 million in infrastructure for the contract. This week Flemish ministers Joke Schauvliege (environment) and Philippe Muyters (labour) visited part of the new installation, a welding facility employing 350 people – and a handful of robots.

Further investment in the construction of a second vehicle, will follow. Volvo Gent currently employs 5,400 people for the construction of three models.

Photo: Hakan Samuelsson and Flemish labour minister Philippe Muyters announce Volvo Gent’s new contracts
©Benoit Doppagne/BELGA