While many have a preconceived idea that cars made in China are of questionable quality, Volvo is saying that those days are long gone. The Swedish automaker, which has facilities in China, claims that cars built in the country are now at a higher quality than those manufactured in Europe.

This is according to Volvo Cars senior vice-president of design, Robin Page, in an interview with Go Auto. He also quelled concerns about Volvo using China as a secondary production foothold, where it has assets in Chengdu, Daqing and Zhangjaikou, with another coming up in Luqiao.

“What we’re finding is that the quality of the cars are actually better in China than they are in Europe. Everyone was worried about quality, but as soon as they started the quality was even higher on score than in Europe,” he said.

“To be honest with you, if you talk to the (European) manufacturing guys they’ve put so much automation into the system, you haven’t got that manual adjust,” he continued, noting that Chinese manufacturing operations aim for tighter tolerances and that having less automation allows for fine adjustments during the production process.

“They’ve got more people on it, less automation, which actually gives you that ability to get tighter on the tolerances … and make finer adjustments. It’s not a massive difference but if you do scores-to-scores and averages, China’s pretty damn good, so we’re not so worried about that now,” Page ended.