Featuring Stephanie Mangini, Corporate Communications Manager for Volvo Cars USA
2020 has brought our region a variety of challenges and provided each of us with opportunities to evaluate our perspectives. Bryan Derreberry, Chamber President & CEO, and special guest Stephanie Mangini, Corporate Communications Manager for Volvo Cars USA, explore how the recent challenges are impacting business, the current state of the manufacturing industry and how we can work together to strengthen our community.
Stephanie and Bryan discussed how the pandemic has affected the automotive industry, which has experienced a sharp drop in demand. Starting in March, vehicle sales were down 40% year over year. With the drop in demand and frequent material constraints from suppliers who have also been affected by the pandemic, Volvo has been building fewer cars than originally projected.
This has been a challenging time for all of us, but Stephanie noted that many companies took their significant downtime and have adapted and shifted, retooling their facilities to make new products and support their community. Volvo’s South Carolina facility used their 3D printers to print face shields and was able to donate PPE to the medical community.
While globally, Volvo Cars is down about 21% in sales for the first half of the year, we are beginning to see a turn in the market. In fact, in June, the U.S. market reported a 4.5% increase in sales over June of last year. To stay motivated and excited during these challenging times, Stephanie looks toward the future and Volvo’s upcoming projects. One of these motivators is the addition of a second line in the South Carolina Volvo plant – within the next few years, the plant will begin manufacturing the XC90, Volvo Car’s largest SUV and best-selling model in the U.S. The plant is expected to double, bringing its workforce to around 3,000. While we are still in a tough spot now, the company’s longer-term goals provide a positive outlook for the future.
Watch the webinar to hear more updates on Volvo Cars’ South Carolina facility as well as how the lowcountry’s entrepreneurial spirit opens up countless possibilities to build a strong economy.