Another European automaker is about to call the Southeastern United States home. Swedish carmaker Volvo AB has broken ground on a $500 million factory located 30 miles northeast of Charleston, SC. This will be Volvo's first U.S. manufacturing plant, and could result in some 4,000 direct jobs for the state. It will be capable of making 100,000 cars a year at the plant, and is expected to employ approximately 2,000 over the next 10 years. The first cars will roll off the production line in 2018.
According to several reports, financial incentives were provided by South Carolina's state-owned electric utility, South Carolina Public Service Authority, which purchased nearly 6,800 acres on which to build an automotive park.
The South recognizes that Mexico is big competition for automotive factories. As PlasticsToday has reported, the automotive industry in Mexico is booming as global automotive OEMs invest in new plants and plant expansions to take advantage of lower manufacturing costs and a large, young workforce. Still, the Southeastern United States has a lot to offer, including a lower cost of living and the fact that much of the Southern states are right-to-work states.