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China-made Volvos for US market

A Geely car plant in China. Image: Xinhua

A Geely car plant in China. Image: Xinhua

VOLVO will become the first major global automaker to export cars from China to the United States, the company said Monday.

Volvo, which was bought by the Chinese automaker Geely Holding Group in 2010 from Ford Motor (F), said it expects to sell about 1,500 of its S60 Inscription sedans in the United States.

Volvo currently sells about 25,000 of them in China, said Volvo spokesman David Ibison. A time frame for the sales was not announced.

China has passed the United States as the largest market for car sales globally, and most major automakers build cars in China. But until now those cars have been sold almost exclusively in China.

The cars are be made at a Volvo plant in Chengdu.

China is the largest maker of US imports, and is a major source of low-cost clothing, electronics and consumer products. Through November of last year, US consumers spent US$426 billion (RM 1.55 trillion) on Chinese exports, up 6 percent from a year earlier. And Asian automakers from Japan and South Korea, such as Toyota Motor (TM) and Hyundai, today account for 45 percent of US auto sales according to sales tracker Autodata. That puts them just slightly ahead of the combined sales of US automakers General Motors (GM), Ford Motor (F), Chrysler Group and Tesla (TSLA).

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About Nigel Andretti

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