Volvo has a long and richly deserved reputation for well built, supremely safe automobiles. Chinese manufacturers have a reputation for poorly built automobiles that fold up like a cheap suitcase upon impact. Can those two reputations be reconciled? Volvo has been owned by Geely Motors, one of China’s prominent car companies, for several years. There have been no complaints about the quality of its cars declining recently.
Now Geely says it will begin building all electric cars by Volvo in China and export them to world markets. “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 Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars. “We believe that electrification is the answer to sustainable mobility.”
Volvo’s first electric cars are expected to go into production in 2019 and be built on the company’s Compact Modular Architecture designed to accommodate smaller cars. Volvo has not said if its first electric car will be a sedan or an SUV, but claims it will have a range of 250 miles and be priced in the $40,000 range. It will be manufactured at Volvo’s factory in Luqiao, China.
Volvo says it will build 1 million electric cars by 2025 and has plans for a larger electric vehicle to be introduced after the launch of its first electric model. The chassis for the larger car will be capable of mounting a 100 kWh battery underneath the floor of the chassis. Will Volvo’s reputation for quality help foreign customers embrace Chinese made vehicles?