[Stockholm] Chinese-owned Volvo Car Group said Thursday it was expanding its Swedish workforce by about 1,300 as sales peak, bucking trends in the global auto industry which has been cautious about a gradual recovery.
"Volvo Cars will add a third working shift in its Torslanda, Gothenburg plant to meet the increasing customer demand for the company's new cars," the group said in a statement.
"Volvo Cars global retail deliveries were up by 9.2 per cent during the first nine months of the year," the group said, adding that it expected to sell about 470,000 cars by the end of the year - "an all-time high sales result for the company".
The expansion at the group's Gothenburg plant in early 2015 by nearly 40 per cent to 4,600 workers will coincide with the production start for the XC90 SUV - Volvo's first fully new car since being bought by Zhejiang Geely Holding from Ford Motor Company in 2010.
Chief executive Haakan Samuelsson told Swedish public radio SR that the group would start recruiting, mainly production line workers, immediately.
"It takes time to find 1,300. We're starting now and must be ready in April because then we need the capacity," he said, adding that the group had thought hard about whether it was the right time to expand or if it's outlook was "too optimistic".
In August the group doubled its sales growth outlook for 2014 to 10 per cent on the back of a surge in demand from Chinese car buyers, which grew by more than a third, - largely offsetting a 10 per cent fall in the US - and signs of growth in the European car market.
Volvo Cars was separated from the Volvo Group's truck, engine and construction machinery business in 1999 and employs about 23,000 globally. AFP