Motor Trend

LIFE ON THE ASSEMBLY LINE: WE BUILD A NEW VOLVO S60

Sometime in the next few months, someone will buy a Volvo S60 sedan with a panoramic sunroof that I installed. Good news: The experienced operators on the assembly line at Volvo’s spanking new plant near Charleston, South Carolina, didn’t let me mess it up.

The Swedish automaker is so proud of its first U.S. assembly plant and its rookie workforce that it invited a handful of journalists to an expedited assembly training session—followed by a chance to try our hand on the factory floor. I paid attention. I didn’t want to subject the car-shopping public to a Russian roulette of potentially buying a subpar vehicle that I helped build.

Most of the 1,500 workers employed here had never built a car before joining the Volvo team. The upbeat training sessions mix with the buzz of a new facility to create a positive vibe. Employees are quick to pull the Andon cord that signals a

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