The Post and Courier

(Charleston, S. C.)

January 12, 1996

Is Volvo on the way?
Maybe ... maybe not!

John P. McDermott

Copyright © 1996, The Post and Courier

RUMORS ABOUND: The whispering is loud, but no one has much solid to say about reports that Volvo is on the prowl for a factory site in the Southeast.

Swedish automaker AB Volvo may be looking at South Carolina - perhaps even the Charleston area - as the site for a new vehicle manufacturing plant.

But then again it may not.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that among possible sites, Volvo was looking at the southeastern United States where German automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz have built plants. BMW's plant is in Greer.

The Journal said the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia are top contenders for the plant, which would create about 1,000 jobs. The newspaper went on to say the search has focused on the U.S. Interstate 85 corridor, which links Charlotte and Atlanta and runs through the Upstate.

In the (Columbia) State newspaper Thursday, unidentified sources said a site consultant representing Volvo has been through South Carolina - including the Charleston area - and has talked to Midlands companies about the work force and business climate.

Commerce Secretary Robert V. Royall said the state has sent information to representatives of four major automakers, but he did not name them.

However, Volvo spokesman Dan Johnston said Thursday that while Volvo is looking at locations across the nation, he has not heard about South Carolina.

Last year, The Post and Courier reported that Volvo was said to be inspecting a site along Interstate 26 near Summerville. The property is the same one that Mercedes considered before selecting Alabama for its $300 million auto plant. At the time Volvo said it was possible that someone from the company was looking at South Carolina but the company would not be more specific.
The Charleston Regional Development Alliance declined to comment on the reports Thursday.

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Copyright © 1996, The Post and Courier.

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