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Volvo’s new Slovakia plant to use its most advanced platform

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Volvo‘s new Slovakia plant will use the automaker’s most advanced platform when it starts production in 2026.

“It will be a successor to SPA2,” Geert Bruyneel, Volvo’s head of global manufacturing, told Automotive News Europe.

SPA2 is an electric-only architecture that will underpin the automaker’s forthcoming flagship SUV as well as the Polestar 3. Both battery-propelled premium large SUVs will go into production later this year at Volvo’s U.S. factory near Charleston, South Carolina.

Bruyneel and Volvo’s head of industrial strategy, Erik Severinson, declined to say which car would be made at the new Kosice plant, but the automaker uses the current generation of SPA (short for scalable product architecture) on models such as XC90 SUV and its global best-seller, the XC60 premium midize SUV.

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Volvo’s next flagship crossover, which will take over a role currently held by XC90, will be full-electric and could pay homage to the Swedish automaker’s lineage.

Volvo has not revealed the name of the first model that will use SPA2, but has said it will deviate from using alphanumeric names such as XC90 and XC60 on future vehicles.

Volvo filed for trademark protection last October for the name Embla, according to Australian news site Drive. In Norse mythology, Embla is the name of the first woman.

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The further evolved version of SPA2 planned for Kosice will be done by Volvo, which will continue to share it with sibling brands owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding.

“This is the next generation in our technology journey,” Severinson, told ANE.

Bruyneel said that journey includes using megacasting for large aluminum body parts.

Volvo’s largest and oldest car plant, located in Torslanda, Sweden, will be ready for megacasting by 2025, which coincides with the production start for the first full-electric car at the factory.

Volvo executive Mikael Fermer told ANE earlier this year that switching to the new technique for car construction “is the biggest technology shift since we switched from wood to steel [for car bodies].”

Bruyneel said Volvo will look to mirror Torslanda in the move to megacasting, with an eye toward taking the techique, which is already used by Tesla, to an even higher level at the Slovakia plant.

“The new plant in Slovakia gives us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put the most efficient state-of-the-art factory in place,” Bruyneel said.

When asked whether Volvo plans to add battery or electric motor production at the factory, Bruyneel said that while those decisions still need to be made: “The aim is to re-think and build an EV plant from scratch and try to integrated as much of that type of production as possible.” He added that Volvo has room in Kosice to expand if needed.

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