‘Ghent factory won’t build the Volvo EX90’

According to The Times, Volvo is investigating plans to shift some of its manufacturing output from China to Ghent in response to the upcoming new import tariffs from the EU. The ramp-up to build units of the EX30 in Belgium would be accelerated, while reportedly, the EX90 is also named for a production move. The factory officially denies the latter as there’s no tooling in place to assemble the big SUV – and no plan either.

The Times report cites insiders close to the decision-making process and states that the automaker has already begun transitioning production to its Ghent plant in Belgium. The decision is driven by the anticipation of increased tariffs on Chinese-made EVs, which are now 10% but could triple. The European Union is expecting to undisclose the structure of the new levies, which will impact the cost and pricing structure of Chinese vehicles sold in Europe in the upcoming days.

Charleston it is

In response to these developments, a Volvo spokesperson from headquarters stated: “It’s premature to speculate on the implications of what this investigation will conclude or any potential measures.” Nonetheless, if the company decides to accelerate production in Belgium, it underscores its strategy to mitigate potential trade barriers.

Volvo announced its intention to build the low-cost EX30 at the Ghent facility in October last year. Assembly is projected to start in 2025, and the factory in Ghent is ramping up to meet the deadline.

The news of adding the assembly of the EX90 (reportedly, models destined for the UK) is not plausible, as spokesperson Barbara Blomme told Newmobility.news: “The factory is not prepared for this platform; Charleston is, and it remains as such. The decision on EX30 was already taken last year. If market conditions are favorable, the factory output will be at its limit with the EX30 built in Ghent.”

Volvo is also building an EV-dedicated factory in Slovakia, scheduled for operation in 2026. However, the company hasn’t shared details about the models it will produce there.

Speedometer glitch for EX30

After a several-month delay due to software glitches, Volvo’s big SUV production was kickstarted in the company’s South Carolina facilities only last week. The Swedish-Chinese company has to accelerate the output to keep backorders from piling up.

As for the EX30, the model has already shown strong market performance, with 14,500 units sold in the first quarter of 2024, outpacing the sales of other models like the EC40 and nearing the EX40, which both come from the Ghent assembly halls.

It is currently Europe’s third best-selling electric vehicle after the Tesla Model Y and Model 3. Also, the small sibling to the EX30 is dealing with software issues, as Volvo has instigated a recall over a software bug affecting the speedometer, which could switch to testing mode. The problem will be addressed through an over-the-air update. Customers can also take their vehicles to a dealership for a fix free of charge.


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