Volvo has opened a new design studio in Shanghai to supplement its existing positions in Gothenburg and California 

Volvo Cars has bolstered its design footprint with a new studio in Shanghai, headed up by Sophie Li who joined from JLR in January 2022. The outpost in China will join spots in Camarillo, California and Gothenburg, Sweden, and continues a trend for automakers to tap global design expertise.

Our understanding is that, by channeling a much broader array of influences, the design of future models can not only better suit key markets but also lead to more unique, game-changing forms. The trend has been working both ways, with Chinese brands GAC amd Geely both setting up shop in Milan recently. 

The Shanghai studio will facilitate end-to-end design processes from concept to production, of course utilising the latest tools such as advanced milling machines, 3D printers and virtual/augmented reality. 

Not long in the role himself, incoming head of global design Jeremy Offer describes the Shanghai design team as ”a crucial and integrated part of our global design network,” with the studio set to ”strengthen the collaboration across our three design studios globally.”

The facility itself is roughly 5,500 square-metres in size and can house about 100 designers and creative engineers. At the centre sits a 1,000-square metre show hall with advanced lighting and an outdoor viewing garden. Spaces like these are important, as they allow designers to see scale- and full-size models in different light settings, highlighting imperfections and accenting lines. 

The studio’s first task was the EX90 electric SUV that was revealed last month in Shanghai