According to Automotive News, Swedish automotive giant Volvo–subsidiary of China’s Geely–is establishing a new technical center at its headquarters in Mahwah, New Jersey, specifically for training mechanics to work on electric vehicles (EVs).
Volvo expects the 12,800 sq. ft. facility to open next March. Once complete, dealership technicians from all over the U.S., Canada, and South America will receive training there.
Anders Gustafsson, Volvo’s senior vice president of the Americas and president of Volvo Car USA, said the company’s 280 dealerships in the U.S. alone require 200 more technicians.
“We need to attract new technicians. The industry is struggling,” said Gustafsson. “We have decided now is the time to take care of everything that is related to customer service.”
While Gustafsson did not disclose how much the training center will cost, he did say it is a major project for Volvo and integral to its transition to all-electric. The new facility will be Volvo’s sixth technical training center in North America, but the first dedicated specifically to EVs.
“If we as a manufacturer don’t invest in a facility where our technicians are going to work, I can tell you that our dealers will not do it either. So, this is a cultural approach,” he added. “They — our dealer partners — have done an excellent job, but I see that some are a little bit behind. Now it is time to take those steps.”
The new training center will also house 50 EV charging stations. Volvo could eventually open some of those to the public as well.
Volvo plans to go all-electric and shift to online-only sales by 2030. The company in February announced an investment of more than $1 billion USD to manufacture electric cars at its plant in Torslanda, Sweden. Earlier this month, Volvo also announced a partnership with Epic Games for integrated EV tech.
The company’s electric performance brand, Polestar, made its first deliveries to rental car company Hertz last week.
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