Volvo decided to build its first full-electric car in Ghent, Belgium, for a good reason. It is the most flexible factory in the automaker's global network.
Longtime Ghent executives such as Geert Willems, who heads final assembly, helped the plant earn that distinction.
By making three cars on three different platforms.
That happened from 2018 until mid-2019 when the V40, underpinned by former owner Ford's EUCD architecture, was built alongside XC40s and V60s using Volvo's CMA and SPA platforms, respectively.
This was quite a feat considering that every other Volvo plant in the world makes either CMA- or SPA-based models.
Adding to the complexity: Since 2017 Ghent has been building plug-in hybrid versions of Volvo's cars. That started with EUCD-based versions of the old-generation V60, which was discontinued in 2018, and restarted with the XC40 last December.
Today, one out of every nine cars assembled at Ghent is a plug-in hybrid.