Volvo Gent celebrates anniversary with €200 million investment

Summary

The Volvo company is investing €200 million in Ghent to transform its assembly plant to allow it to produce compact cars, ensuring job security for at least 10 years

50th anniversary

Volvo Cars in Ghent is investing €200 million to transform its assembly plant to the CMA (compact modular architecture) platform, which will allow it to build smaller, more compact models. The news coincides with the plant’s 50th birthday celebrations.

Federal work minister Kris Peeters is due to visit the plant today in connection with the anniversary.

The CMA transformation will be gradual, with completion expected by 2019, when production can fully turn towards the smaller models, which will follow the current 40 series.

Last January, Volvo announced it would be constructing its new XC60 model in Sweden, news that came as a disappointment to Ghent.

According to the plant’s managing director, Eric Van Landeghem, the CMA move gives the plant work security until at least 2024. “Ghent has been assigned the new platform, which shows that we remain an important element in Volvo’s industrial structure,” he said.

The work will begin with the construction of a new 8,000 square-metre building, added to the welding plant and due to be finished by the end of the year. The first robots and production machinery should be installed by next summer. 

“This is of invaluable importance,” commented Mathias De Clercq, chair of the Ghent port authority. “This investment will provide job security, directly for 5,200 workers and indirectly for thousands more.”

“We are celebrating the history of Volvo Cars in Belgium,” said Peeters, “but we might also celebrate the promising future of the company”. The investment, he said, “shows that Volvo Cars continues to believe in our country”. 

Photo courtesy Volvo Gent