A 35-year-old dinosaur.
That's essentially how Volvo Car Corp. views its Canadian assembly plant in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which is scheduled to close 18 December.
The plant can build only 8,200 cars a year - about one-thirtieth the capacity of a typical US plant. It currently assembles the S70 and V70 from European-produced kits. The vehicles are sold in Canada and the northeastern USA. But by this time next year, Volvo plans to import nine models, including the new S80 flagship.
The plant 'has limited flexibility to produce these new models,' said Curt Germundsson, senior vice president of Volvo Car Corp. in Sweden. In a statement, Germundsson noted that the Halifax plant cannot build cars with special features, such as all-wheel-drive. Those cars must come from Volvo plants in Europe.
Volvo also said it must restructure its manufacturing operations because it has 20 percent more worldwide capacity than it needs.
Germundsson told employees last week that Volvo appreciated their dedication - but their efforts do not outweigh global business factors.
'It is not economically viable to produce cars for the Canadian market in Halifax as we expand our product line,' Germundsson said.
The closure will cost 230 workers their jobs.
Volvo plants in Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands will supply Canada and the USA.
The announcement drew protests from Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers. 'It just infuriated me that there was no hint even that this was going to happen,' he said.
'I'm calling on the Canadian government to tell Volvo, 'Look, if you don't assemble here, you give up your right to sell here.''