Volvo is coming, Slovakia to end up with fifth carmaker

The plant will produce electric cars near Košice.

Slovak PM Eduard Heger and Javier Varela chief operating officer at Volvo Cars, left, after signing the agreement on construction of the plant in the industrial park Valaliky near Košice.Slovak PM Eduard Heger and Javier Varela chief operating officer at Volvo Cars, left, after signing the agreement on construction of the plant in the industrial park Valaliky near Košice. (Source: TASR)

The Volvo Cars automotive group has announced that it will build its third production plant in Slovakia, near Košice. The investment will amount to €1.2 billion. The plant will specialise in the production of electric vehicles, the Sme daily reported.

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“Personally, I am very pleased that Slovakia has succeeded in the competition for this mega investment, which will provide development and many jobs in the eastern part of Slovakia, with lots of direct and indirect job opportunities,” said Economy Minister Richard Sulík.

Volvo now has two factories in Europe - in Ghent in Belgium and Torsland in Sweden. The plant in Slovakia will be constructed in Valaliky industrial park near Košice. Its capacity will be 250,000 vehicles per year and will employ approximately 3,300 people. The plant's construction is planned for 2023 with the installation of equipment and production lines in the course of 2024.

Volvo Cars has the ambition of moving towards annual sales of 1.2 million cars by mid-decade, which it aims to meet with a global manufacturing footprint spanning Europe, the US and Asia.

“We have a clear focus on becoming a pure electric mobility brand by 2030, which is in line with our purpose,” said Jim Rowan, chief executive at Volvo Cars. “Expansion in Europe, our largest sales region, is crucial to our shift to electrification and continued growth. I am very pleased to expand our Volvo Cars production footprint into Slovakia and look forward to welcoming new colleagues and partners on the journey ahead.”

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As for the location, Košice offers good logistical and transport links to the rest of Europe and access to a good supplier base. The incentives offered by the Slovak government have also been a key factor in the decision to locate the plant in Košice, the carmaker wrote in its press release.

Prime Minister Eduard Heger has welcomed the Volvo Cars decision.

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