Report: Volvo met with S.C. officials on new plant

Hakan Samuelsson is CEO of Volvo Car Group, which reshuffled its management last week under an effort to boost U.S. sales. He’s shown Jan. 12 with an XC90 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Volvo translates into “I roll.” The question is, will the Swedish carmaker roll into South Carolina?

The Palmetto State is one of at least three Southeastern states that Volvo has approached about possibly building a U.S. automobile manufacturing plant, according to a news report last week.

Citing unidentified people claiming knowledge of the company’s plans, the Financial Times said Wednesday that the Swedish carmaker has met with legislative officials in the Carolinas and Kentucky. The discussions centered on financial incentives that would be available if Volvo builds a factory, the British newspaper reported.

Also last week, Volvo shook up its U.S.-based management and named Lex Kerssemakers as chief of Volvo Cars of North America in New Jersey. One of his top priorities will be to turn around the automaker’s slipping U.S. business.

Reuters news service said earlier this month that Volvo was considering a factory in the United States, where European rivals BMW AG and Mercedes-Benz already have big production sites — in South Carolina and Alabama, respectively. That report did not specify what part of the country Volvo was eyeballing.

The S.C. Commerce Department said in a statement last week that it “does not publicly discuss its economic development recruitment efforts.”

The Scandinavian-founded automaker already has operations across the border in North Carolina. The head office for Volvo Trucks North American is in Greensboro.

Volvo’s name was linked to a previous plant-seeking expedition in South Carolina — but that was back in 1996.

The burger wars touched down at Charleston International recently.

Airport concessionaire Delaware North had lined up Wendy’s as a new vendor when construction is completed on the $189 million renovation of the terminal building in November.

But Wendy’s wanted more. It asked Delaware North if it could be the only burger chain to serve the concessionaire’s client airports not only in Charleston but across the country.

Unable to oblige, the Buffalo, N.Y.-based food service management firm asked the Charleston County Aviation Authority, which oversees the airport, if it was OK to switch out Wendy’s for Burger King. The board agreed to accommodate the special request, presumably at no charge.

South Carolina’s first brewery is expanding its offerings into the Palmetto State’s tourist mecca.

Charleston-based Palmetto Brewing Co. recently hosted a beer dinner with Mellow Mushroom in Myrtle Beach, where it showcased some of its available brews, according to The Sun News.

The brewery’s Palmetto Amber and Pale Ale brands are already in Grand Strand grocery chains such as Lowes and Piggly Wiggly, as well as restaurant and bars including Atlas Tap House, Liberty Tap Room and Mellow Mushroom.

The brewery also is working with beer markets in Columbia and Savannah and is expanding its brewery in Charleston, after having been in the same location on Huger Street since 1993, said John Planty, general manager. The company recently bought 17 acres off Azalea Drive near the Ashley River in North Charleston and is planning a 40,000-square-foot building to make the South Carolina brewery a real “destination for craft brews,” Planty told the Sun News.

For at least one legislator at last week’s U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing, the race for aircraft manufacturing dominance between Boeing Co. and Airbus has already ended.

“You build a great aircraft,” U.S. Rep. Don Smith, R-Alaska, told Ray Conner, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Your competitor? You can forget him.”

Conner was at the hearing to urge Congress to pass legislation that would enhance the speed and efficiency of airplane certification by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Chicago-based Boeing, which makes the 787 Dreamliner at its North Charleston campus, reported more deliveries last year than France-based Airbus at 723 airplanes. Airbus, however, had more orders — 1,432 net orders worth $232.7 billion — than Boeing, forcing many analysts to call the 2014 race a draw.

For Smith, however, Boeing is the clear winner. He told Conner he flies on Boeing-built planes “all the time.”

“Every time I get in an Airbus, I shudder,” Smith said.

To which Conner quipped: “I do, too. ... for other reasons.”

The Charleston County jail is opening its doors to the public this weekend – for job seekers and curiosity seekers, alike.

The Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center is holding a job fair and community event Satuday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at 3841 Leeds Ave. in North Charleston. The free event, the first of its kind for the Sheriff’s Office, is not only for recruiting detention officers — the starting salary is from $29,349 to $35,405 — and medical personnel but also to let the public tour the jail. Families are welcome.

The jail is organizing the event with the Carolina Center for Occupational Health. The center, which provides care for inmates, is recruiting nurses.

Would-be job seekers are asked to fill out an application online — see the “Apply” icon at www.charlestoncounty.org — and bring it with them. They also can can apply while at the jail, where a test will be given.