Production of the all-new Volvo XC40 has commenced, at the Volvo Cars plant in Ghent, Belgium. The first example was a customer ordered model, which will soon make its way to its new owner.
Unveiled earlier this year, the XC40 is Volvo’s first proper attempt at the compact premium SUV market segment. It sits beneath the Swedish-made XC60, and somewhere below the slightly bigger but less off-roady V40 Cross Country. It’s the first to be underpinned by Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which will be used for all future 40 series model.
It should turn out to be a very popular vehicle for Volvo, what with the growing demand in the small SUV market. In fact, Volvo says it is the fastest-growing segment in the auto industry. So far Volvo says it has received over 13,000 orders for the innovative XC40.
The first example to roll off the production line was celebrated with Belgian prime minister Charles Michel on hand, along with Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson. The CEO spoke at the event, saying:
“This is a proud day for Ghent, the company and all our employees here. Our people have put in long days and many hours to prepare the plant for the start of XC40 production and they have done a great job. The XC40 represents a bright future for Ghent and for Volvo Cars.”
To cater for the production of the new model, the Ghent facility has undergone major changes through investment, including an 8000-square-metre expansion for the XC40’s body shop. The facility will become a global hub for all future CMA-based models. At the moment the factory produces the S60/V60, and the V40. The large 90 series models are built in Sweden, along with the new XC60 (previous XC60 was also made in Belgium).
Australian specifications and prices are yet to be announced, but the first deliveries for the new model overseas will commence early next year.