In 1963, as a way to counter massive import duties on imported vehicles, Volvo of Sweden established the first non-domestic auto plant in North America in Halifax.
Nova Scotia's Premier at the time, Robert Stanfield, heralded the plant opening as the beginning of a "New Nova Scotia" - one which would put Nova Scotia at the forefront of manufacturing.
By 1966, the plant was producing 3,700 cars a year and several new models were being introduced to the Canadian market. The Volvo 122S was renamed the Volvo Canadian to celebrate their entry to the Canadian market.
In 1974, after several expansions, the Halifax operation was turning out 12,000 cars per year.
Although the Nova Scotia operations continued to expand, employment never exceeded several hundred and the dream of a New Nova Scotia was never developed the way the government had envisioned.
Ironically, it was an auto trade agreement that brought Volvo to Halifax, and it was another trade agreement, NAFTA, which led to their demise in 1998.
The very first Volvo produced in Nova Scotia has been beautifully restored and is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Industry in Nova Scotia. Our design features the hubcap "V" circle, the Canadian nameplate from the front quarter panel as well as the text of a sticker that was in the rear window of many Volvo's which were produced in Halifax.