BEIJING (AP) — Volvo Cars, the Chinese-owned Swedish automaker, said Monday it will export cars made in China to the United States, a step forward for Beijing's ambitions to extend the global reach of its auto manufacturing industry.
The cars would be exported from Volvo's factories in China, said a Volvo public relations manager, Chen Yu. She said she had no details on when shipments would start or a sales target.
A handful of vehicles made in China have been exported to the United States but if Volvo's plan goes ahead, it could represent the first mass-market sales of Chinese-made vehicles there.
China's domestic automakers and joint ventures between global brands such as General Motors Co. and local producers export sedans, minivans and other vehicles to Latin America, the Middle East and other emerging markets.
Several Chinese brands have expressed interest in entering developed markets but have yet to satisfy U.S. emissions and safety standards.
Volvo was acquired in 2010 by Geely Holding Group Ltd., which also sells cars under its own name. The following year, Volvo announced an $11 billion, five-year global expansion plan.
The company has assembly lines in the southwestern city of Chengdu and in Daqing in the northeast and an engine factory in the central city of Zhangjiakou. Volvo has created an extended version of its S60 sedan, the S60L, for the Chinese market.
Among other Chinese auto exports, Liuzhou Wuling Motors Co. sold small trucks in the United States in 2004-05 for off-road commercial use but they were not permitted on public streets.
Another manufacturer, BYD Auto Co., opened a U.S. factory in Lancaster, California, last year to manufacture electric buses.