Volvo moves BEV production to Europe to avoid China tariffs (Updated)

(Credit: Volvo)

UPDATE: A Volvo spokesperson has informed Teslarati that the legacy automaker has not decided if the EX30’s production will be moved to Belgium.

We cannot confirm that the decision to also build the EX30 in Belgium is connected to the the EU investigation. It is premature to speculate on the implications of what this investigation will conclude, or any potential measures.  

The decision to also build the EX30 in Ghent reflects our ambition to build our cars where we sell them as much as possible. In fact, when we revealed the EX30 in June last year, we indicated we were exploring additional manufacturing locations globally and we confirmed in October 2023 that we would add capacity in Ghent for the EX30 from 2025,” Volvo told Teslarati.

[Original article starts below.]

Volvo has moved battery electric vehicle (BEV) production from China to Europe as the European Union is expected to impose tariffs on Chinese EV imports.

Inside sources claim that Volvo will not consider suspending sales of EVs produced in China. Instead, the company appears to be moving production to Europe.

According to The Times, Volvo is diverting production of its EX30 and EX90 vehicles from China to Belgium. Some Volvo models that are supposed to be produced in the United Kingdom might also be moved to Belgium.

Volvo’s headquarters is in Sweden, but the company is owned by Chinese automaker Geely. As a brand owned by a China-based car company, Volvo is seen as vulnerable to the EU’s plans to impose tariffs on Chinese EVs. 

In 2023, the European Commission (EC) announced an anti-subsidy probe into EV imports from China. EC President Ursula von Der Leyen said China was flooding the EU with cheap EVs. She claimed that Chinese EV prices in the EU were kept artificially low by “huge state subsidies.” HSBC analysts estimated that Chinese EV import subsidies gave China-based automakers a 30% cost advantage. 

The European Commission’s anti-subsidy investigation is expected to result in tariffs on Chinese EV imports. However, German automakers fear the repercussions of imposing tariffs since a few depend on sales in China. 

Last month, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares slammed the Biden Administration’s 100% tariffs on Chinese EVs in the United States. He stated that Chinese tariffs in the United States were “just going to end up with more inflation inside the bubble.”

“Protectionism has a lot of drawbacks. They don’t appear immediately; they appear one after the other,” commented Tavares

China has reacted to the tariffs imposed on its EV imports in the US and the expected tariffs in the EU. The Chinese government is considering a 25% tariff on foreign vehicle imports with large engines.

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Maria Merano: Veteran writer and editor, who believes harmony between tech and nature is achievable. We just need to learn to compromise.
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