Production of Volvo’s first ever small premium SUV – XC40 has recently begun at the company’s plant in Ghent, Belgium. Volvo said that the company has already received over 13,000 orders, and the deliveries are expected early next year.
The XC40 is the first model on Volvo Cars’ new modular small car platform, the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which will underpin all upcoming cars in the 40 series. The CMA platform, co-developed with Geely, will provide Volvo Cars with the necessary synergies and economies of scale for the small premium car segment, said Volvo.
Preparations for the production start of the XC40 in Ghent have been ongoing for a long time. Considerable investments in recent years have transformed the Ghent plant into a global export hub for CMA-based cars, including an 8,000 square metre addition to the body shop, said Volvo.
A total of 363 new robots have been installed, including one which has been nicknamed “the Beast” by Ghent employees. This large robot, unique within Volvo Cars’ global manufacturing system, is used to lift lower car bodies to a conveyor belt close to the ceiling of the plant.
Ghent is one of two car manufacturing plants operated by Volvo Cars in Europe and has produced Volvos since 1965. Until recently it produced the first generation of Volvo’s best-selling XC60 mid-size SUV, while the plant also builds the V40 and V40 Cross Country small hatchbacks as well as the S60 and V60.
India is also one of the important markets for the XC40, and has already been listed in the official India website.