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Wanted: 50 Volvo employees in China

TT/The Local · 12 Oct 2010, 15:27

Published: 12 Oct 2010 15:27 GMT+02:00

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Volvo's human resources cheif Björn Sällström is currently in China looking for office space. He confirmed that Volvo’s China headquarters will be somewhere in the Jiading District of Shanghai, where one of the financiers behind Geely’s purchase of Volvo is based.

However, it remains unclear exactly where the Volvo factory will be set up.

”We’re not going to build something new, in any case,” Sällström told the TT news agency.

The first wave of 50 Volvo employees is just the start, however.

”This is what we need in the first phase. Then we can expand,” said Sällström.

Last week it was revealed that Lars Danielson, head of Volvo’s Torslanda factory outside of Gothenburg in western Sweden, will oversee production in China.

He will report to Volvo’s head of China operations, Freeman Shen, formerly deputy CEO of Geely Group.

Volvo also plans to hire around 200 local employees with varying skill sets.

”There are a lot of capable Chinese engineers. But we also want to have our own people becuase they have competence about Volvo,” said Sällström.

Plans call for Volvo’s new S60 to be built in the Chinese factory, which is expected to be operating at full capacity by 2012, according to Sällström.

Areas being scouting for Volvo’s factory include the Shanghai region, as well as Chongqing and Chengdu, both located in southwestern China.

Story continues below…

In Chongqing, Volvo’s previous owners, US automaker Ford, cooperated with Changan Motors to manufacture the Volvo S40 as well as elongated versions of the S80.

As a result, about 15 Volvo employees are already in China and Sällström expects production at the site to continue for two to three more years.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:57 October 12, 2010 by ISayWhatPeopleThink
What a horribly misleading article…they try to make it sound like the employment train rolled in for jobseekers in Sweden.

Let's cut through the BS, shall we?

"Volvo Cars is looking to relocate about 50 employees from Sweden to China"

Key word here: RELOCATE. No new jobs, just moving some of their top brass that are already employed with the company to oversee the new operations.

"Volvo also plans to hire around 200 local employees with varying skill sets."

Key word here: LOCAL employees. They're hiring Chinese workers.

Translation: Volvo is setting up shop in China where they can hire cheaper labor. Don't be fooled by the title of the article, there are NO NEW JOBS for Sweden. In fact, expect many Swedish workers to be losing their jobs to the Chinese.
17:03 October 12, 2010 by bjinger
The above conclusion is not correct, I believe, it's not a word play game.

In Volvo case, there is only win-win solution.More and more local workers are put on the line, it's truth.
17:05 October 12, 2010 by RobinHood
Why shouldn't Geely set up its Chinese headquarters in Shanghai. It bought the shares, it can do what it wants with Volvo Cars. If people don't like that, they can buy the shares from Geely, and then they can do what they want.
17:29 October 12, 2010 by ericrufinosiah
I do agree with " Robin Hood " and since Geely of China had bought over Volvo,it

will be theirs word on what they wanted to do as I believe Geely would want more

mainland Chinese to own more beautiful reliable Volvo cars and etc.
17:43 October 12, 2010 by SWOT
Volvo cars are reliable but not beautiful. that is why not a lot of Chinese buy Volvo. BMW is more expensive but more popular in China.
17:50 October 12, 2010 by ISayWhatPeopleThink
@ bijinger

How are you interpreting this?

"Volvo also plans to hire around 200 local employees with varying skill sets.

"There are a lot of capable Chinese engineers. But we also want to have our own people because they have competence about Volvo," said Sällström."

The way I read it is "local" meaning local to China, since that's where the project is, thus hiring Chinese. I see the comment about "our own people" being about the 50 Swedes already working for the company that they are merely relocating, who will be overlooking the new skilled Chinese employees.

As far as what Volvo and Geely do, I agree - it is their own business. He can move Volvo to the moon for all I care. I just think the article is grossly misleading and the insinuation of new jobs for Swedes is untrue.
01:06 October 13, 2010 by Geno44
Whenever there is a take-over or a merger of companies, the first thing the workers are told is that they shouldn't worry because there will be no changes.

Then the upper management is reevaluated and shifted to other departments or out the door.

Then the dreaded "consolidation" and "redundancy" jobs are eliminated with the final coup de grâce being that manufacturing and the home office are being moved for cost savings and your plant and/or office is being shut down...permanently.

The only thing that changes is the names of the companies.
01:39 October 13, 2010 by Roy E
That's right!

Transfer that technology and know-how!
09:20 October 13, 2010 by bjinger
Some thinking above is a bit strange.Actually China at present has created 50 jobs for Sweden, isn't it true?
11:38 October 13, 2010 by casper boris

Volvo is expanding and making the sensible move to have a local plant in the world's biggest car market. Historically, Volvo would also have been wise to have had a USA plant to avoid the previous and recent unfavourable currency exachange between the Kroner and the Dollar. (Halifax plant should have been kept?). Just like other OEMs with local plants in the USA and China, Volvo is now expanding and this is something THEY have wanted and need to do for some time. Of course there will be localled employed people as well as people from Volvo HQ overseeing things. Just like Ghent and Bron wher ethe plant workers were local and management included representation from Sweden. Volvo's will continue to be designed and engineered in Sweden. Geely is wise and knows Volvo's need to be Swedish engineered and designed. As Peter Horbury says, Volvo isnt just a look or an image, its a way of doing things. The China plant will be added to the lineup of Torslanda, Ghent and Uddevalla and the new plant will only cater for the Chinese and local market NB where Volvo currently doesnt sell much! EU plants for the EU and USA. Eventually you might see car exported from China and most likely the smallest and cheapest cars like the P20 just like many other OEMS make their cheapest cars in Eastern Europe or India because profits on small cars are low.

To ensure the new Volvo China plant matches Volvo's standards elsewhere and due to Volvo's autonomy, Volvo staff from Sweden will be running and overseeing this new venture (just like when Ghent and Born were established).
13:48 October 13, 2010 by dizzy09
China:when i say jump sweden,u say how high.
15:24 October 13, 2010 by Decedo
Maybe it's to lure Swedish workers to the far east and leave them stranded, like Swedish companies did to those berry pickers, hehe
15:27 October 13, 2010 by 2394040
This does not sound good at all. This happened to a friend of mine here in the USA who was asked to go help set-up a job in Puerto Rico, which he did. Not too long after that the whole company was shipped to Puerto Rico. He came back to the States of course, but he no longer had a job here.

It might take a few years, but I think it's a certainty that the entire Volvo operation will eventually be in China. Regardless of what top Volvo management says. Just in case anyone doesn't know it, dishonesty is still relevant in big busness.
22:43 October 13, 2010 by voidplay
I don't see why the Chinese would want to import cars from Volvo Sweden. It is not like only the Swedes can make cars. And as far as the those crying about leaking technology, it may be true that Swedes may have had a head start in technology or branding. But like the Japanese or the South Koreans, the Chinese are definitely much better poised because of their market size and would get there soon.

And as a non-Swede and non-Chinese I definitely think it is not fair for the Swedes to the other western countries to call China foul. When the Japanese economy grew they closed their economy to outside competition but exported to every other economy. The south Koreans did the same. The Swedish if you didn't realize, did the same and still continue to do the same (ever notice why every road or bridge contract goes to Skanska?). The Chinese and Indians don't see the point and it is not like they are going to loose anything to share their growth, they are simply too big and it works in their favor not to reinvent the wheel.

I often don't understand the idea of cheap labor, it is a world of free market. If someone pays you more to work less and have longer vacations than someone from the other side of the world then it simply means you are consuming an unfair share of the world's resources.
16:09 October 15, 2010 by Daniel JD
My experience w/ Volvo cars, specially the ones dating back 10+ yrs in the USA was not so exciting, I thought the cars, although sturdy and great performers at crash tests, were kind of heavy, slow and clumsy looking, which I suspect is why they didn't do so well as of late.

I hope the Chinese will make improvements and be able to revive the brand!
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