Volvos Daqing plant in Heilongjiang province

Volvo's Daqing plant in Heilongjiang province

Volvo Cars says it will expand its Daqing plant in China's northeast, adding production of "an all-new premium Sedan". This is likely to be the S90L, the successor to the S80L.

Daqing has a capacity of 80,000 vehicles a year, is manned by 700 employees and is where the XC Classic is made. This renamed first generation XC90 went into production in September. The 12 November statement makes no mention of any rise in production capacity, just that Volvo will be "significantly expanding its manufacturing facility".

The Swedish company is majority owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding, a Chinese company, but also "enjoys a close and developing relationship with the Daqing city government, which owns 37 per cent of Volvo Cars," the firm's media statement notes.

Volvo Cars expects sales in China to surpass 80,000 this calendar year, making China Volvo’s largest global market. It has a long-term goal of selling 200,000 cars a year in the country.

"Daqing will become an integral part of our global industrial footprint," said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars' president and CEO. "We are pleased to announce that we are going to introduce SPA and a new sedan here. We are fully committed to the growth of our business in China, our second home market."

The addition of a new SPA-based sedan at Daqing likely means that this plant will be where any future Chinese production of the second generation XC90 will take place. Sources have told just-auto that the first cars will come off the line there in late 2015. It is also thought that there will be exports to the US.

The XC60 and S60L are built in the other wholly owned Chinese plant in the city of Chengdu, in the country's southwest. 

Volvo is yet to announce what will become of the long wheelbase S80L, production of which is exclusively at the Changan joint venture plant in Chongqing. This is the same facility which assembled the S40 between 2006 and 2011. Build of the S80L dates to the era of Ford ownership.

The S90 might have its world premiere at next March's Geneva motor show, to be followed by the S90L at Auto Shanghai in April.