Pre-production of the new Volvo XC40 in the manufacturing plant in Belgian city of Ghent. (photos courtesy of Volvo Cars)
STOCKHOLM, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Volvo Cars plant in Ghent, Belgium started to produce its small premium SUV on Wednesday, the company announced.
In a press release, Volvo Cars said "a new era started" as the first customer-bound XC40 small SUV was set to roll off the production line in Ghent plant.
The new XC40, for which the company has already received more than 13,000 orders, is Volvo Cars' first ever small premium SUV. The first customers can expect to take delivery of their new XC40 early next year.
"This is a proud day for Ghent, the company and all our employees here," said Hakan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars. "The XC40 represents a bright future for Ghent and for Volvo Cars."
Ghent is one of two car manufacturing plants operated by Volvo Cars in Europe and has produced Volvos since 1965. Until recently it produced the first generation of Volvo's best-selling XC60 mid-size SUV, while the Ghent plant also builds the V40 and V40 Cross Country small hatchbacks as well as the S60 and V60.
Acquired by Chinese automaker Geely in 2010, Volvo Cars employs over 31,000 people worldwide.