Charleston has received many accolades as a tourist destination but what drove Volvo (pun intended) to select it for their first US manufacturing plant? Lex Kerssemakers, CEO of Volvo Cars North America, stated that the overseas accessibility to the Port of Charleston, the qualified workforce base, and the experience of the state’s industrial recruiters were the major reasons in determining this $500 million investment. While abundant sunshine and palm trees are nice, it’s these influential factors that are causing companies like Volvo, Daimler, and Boeing to call Charleston home.
The Charleston industrial real estate landscape will soon be welcoming more suppliers and further supplanting the region as a hub for large commercial activity. The nearby Berkeley county land site chosen by Volvo is located close to Interstate 26 and within 30 miles of the Port of Charleston. What was once a field of pine trees will soon have a new rail line built for Volvo and a pool of talented workers which could number up to 4000 jobs by 2030.
Volvo’s move to Charleston has answered one big question while simultaneously supplying another: Is the Charleston industrial market able to attract major manufacturing? A resounding “Yes!” And the intriguing question it raises is — “Who’s next?”