Operations have started at Volvo's new research and development centre in Shanghai's Jiading district, auto.163.com cited the automaker's chairman of China operations, Shen Hui, as saying.

Work is starting on two new models intended specifically for China.

Shen said "there was one subcompact and one small car, both of which 'will definitely surprise you'."

However, he did not comment on slow progress on the manufacturer's planned production sites in Chengdu, Sichuan and Daqing, Heilongjiang.

Work on Volvo's C30 pure electric will be done at the Shanghai facility which will also develop new energy products and technology.

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