Change in production strategy just to meet demand?
“ Our ambition is to sell EX30 to all over the world Attractive price » Jim Rowan, General Manager of Volvo Cars, said in the press release announcing the transfer of part of the production of this 100% electric urban SUV. It was presented for the first time in November 2022 to open the door for pre-orders, before it was officially revealed to journalists last June. Volvo EX30 has been announced as the new star of the brand. Quite simply, her long-term goal is to sell 10,000 copies in France. This will require commercial success, as Volvo, by comparison, sold 13,515 cars in France over the whole of 2022. Those expectations are ambitious While the first deliveries will be made at the end of 2023.
the Production of the Volvo EX30 begins this fall at Geely’s plant in Zhangjiakou (China) and the manufacturer boasts that it has already filled its order books very well. It must be said that manufacturing a vehicle in China depends on the same Zeekr platform Cut costs Thus offering it at an attractive price. Because the Volvo EX30 is available in three forms: Start, Plus and Ultra can be accessed respectively from 37,500, 40,450 and 47,950 euros (excluding eco bonus). The goal is to allow its customers to To purchase an all-electric SUV at a price similar to that of an equivalent combustion engine SUV ».
The Volvo EX30 claims the eco bonus, but not for long
At the end of October, just a few weeks after starting production in China, Volvo announced via a press release that it would soon increase its EX30 production capacity. In other words, in addition to the assembly that takes place in China, The small electric SUV will be produced at the Belgian factory in Ghent. This already means the Volvo XC40 and C40 have passed through production lines and the little star model should be added to the list. Current year 2025. “Officially this choice” It’s a logical step as we aim to meet the high demand for our exciting small electric SUVs around the world. Although interesting, this explanation by Jim Rowan has not convinced all observers of the automobile market.
The brand’s first upscale small SUV certainly has it All the cards are in hand to become an absolute hit In Europe as well as on the Asian continent. But justifying this expansion of production capacities solely by global demand seems somewhat simplistic. In fact, one of the EX30’s main advantages is that it’s a high-quality product – we’re not talking a low-cost electric model here – with an attractive starting price. Although it is being offered under the €47,000 mark which is currently allowed to be claimed Environmental bonus (€5,000 or 27% of the EV purchase price), the EX30 will soon be axed. This is where everything changes.
Vehicles made in China will no longer enjoy the French bonus
The fault lies in the new regulation that incorporates the “environmental score” of cars and which governs the possibility of receiving a bonus when purchasing the vehicle in question. So, Pollution released during the manufacture and transportation of the model is now taken into account. Purchasing aid will very soon depend on these calculations, which is what has already happened As a result of excluding vehicles produced outside the European Union. By producing it in China, the Volvo EX30 will no longer be affected by the 2024 environmental bonus, which comes into effect in France from October 15. The manufacturer did not mention this economic aspect in its press release, but it seems clear that it influenced the decision to add a production line for this small SUV in Europe.
As we have seen, the manufacturer’s plant located in Ghent (Belgium) already manufactures the XC40 and C40, the latter of which has been on the assembly line since 2021. Therefore, the addition of the EX30 should not represent a huge investment for Volvo since The production lines have already been adapted for electric SUVs. Ghent also plays a role The important role of the Ghent plant in the company’s electrification strategy » Thus the intersection becomes The third fully electric model produced by the Swedish company in Europe. Long gone are the days when technicians in Ghent worked on the Volvo Amazon in the second half of the 1960s.
Addition of a European carbon tax from 2026
In addition to the new rule on the three-color eco-bonus, which only concerns the French market (although Germany and Italy do not rule out resuming the principle), European legislation should also complicate the marketing of the Chinese EX30 . In fact, the Carbon tax at European borders It entered into force on 1He is October 2023 in its tax-free, declarative trial phase. Of the year 2026The taxes will follow one another to compensate for emissions associated with the production of imported industrial products. The automobile market will be the first to be affected, which may lead to… Price increase.
By keeping production of its EX30 SUV on Chinese soil alone, Volvo would have risked seeing its order book slowly fill up. From 2025, its small electric model will be able to claim the French eco-bonus – if it has not yet been amended by then – while not risking new European taxes. fact Produced on the same continent where it is sold It will allow EX30 not to burden the EU. Therefore, it is not unlikely that other models from the Geely group will see part of their production moved to Belgium. Its cousins, the Zeekr pound sterling From the future? They are all built on Sea Jelly platform ; So the Ghent plant could, in theory, accommodate them without causing major modifications to its assembly line.