It has not yet been decided whether the production of these vehicles will take place at the Mitsubishi-owned plant in Normal, Illinois, or the more likely option of one of the Ford plants. The huge growth plan is one of the first key influences from Ford since it acquired Volvo Cars earlier this year for $6.45billion.
Volvo has stated that the expansion with Ford will not impact on its joint venture in Europe with Mitsubishi, which sees production split at the NedCar plant in Born, Netherlands, between Mitsubishi and Volvo vehicles. Volvo says the shift to American production will be in addition to the production output from NedCar and adds that, when the next generation of S40 and V40 goes into production in three to four years time, it will be aimed at the global market rather than just European market, driving production levels up to 700,000 units - almost double its current total production level.
It is believed the new Volvo models will rely increasingly on shared components from Ford, but a Volvo spokesman in Sweden stressed that no final decision had been made on where they will be produced. 'We will make a decision in this matter within a year. There has been speculation about the Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois, as a possible solution but for obvious reasons Ford will be a more natural partner.'