Geely's Volvo Cars will build its first fully electric car in China, the company announced on Wednesday at Auto Shanghai in China.

The new model will be based on the automaker's Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) for smaller cars and will be available for sale in 2019 and exported globally from China, Volvo said.

The decision to make its first electric car in China highlights the central role the country will play in Volvo's electrified future and underlines China's growing sophistication as a manufacturing centre for the automotive industry, the automaker said.

"Volvo Cars fully supports the Chinese government's call for cleaner air as outlined in the latest five year plan. It is fully in line with our own core values of environmental care, quality and safety," said Hakan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars.

"We believe that electrification is the answer to sustainable mobility."

China is the world's largest market for electrified cars and has ambitious targets to expand sales of fully electric and hybrid cars in order to address congestion and air quality issues in its cities.

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By GlobalData

Volvo has a commitment to sell a total of 1m electrified cars – including fully electric and hybrid – by 2025. It is developing a fully electric car on its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) as well. The company also plans to offer plug in hybrid versions of every model.

Volvo has three manufacturing facilities in China: in Daqing, which makes 90 series cars; Chengdu, which makes 60 series; and Luqiao, which will make 40 series.