Times Staff and Wire Reports

Volvo Weighs Costs, Benefits of Building Cars in U.S.: The Swedish car maker said manufacturing and delivery costs, rather than local incentives, will most influence its decision. German and Japanese car makers have already been attracted to the United States by the relatively weak dollar, lower labor costs and the sales appeal of cars that are technically American-made. A report in the Wall Street Journal said Volvo is studying whether to build passenger cars and sport-utility vehicles in North America and is talking with other companies about a joint project. Mats Edenborg, a Volvo spokesman, declined to disclose possible sites for a U.S. plant. He said Volvo has "had a lot of offers from local governments," but emphasized that any "decision would depend on other factors," such as proximity to suppliers. Besides the United States, it has been looking at China for future expansion, Edenborg said. Volvo's U.S. sales, all from imports, totaled 87,021 cars last year, up about 8% from 1994 measured by daily sales rate.

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