Ford looks to offload its premium marque to Chinese buyer
15 December 2008

Ford is looking towards one of China’s emerging car makers as a buyer for Volvo, as Ford desperately tries to streamline the firm’s global operations.

But while much of the speculation on a possible suitor for Volvo has focused on the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and Changan Automobile (which already produces a long-wheelbase version of the S80 for the Chinese market), Autocar has learned that rival Geely Automobile has shown interest in a controlling stake in the Swedish brand.

Geely personnel initially visited Volvo’s headquarters in Gothenburg in early 2008, following moves by Ford to dissolve its Premier Automotive Group - which included Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin.

At the time, Geely was unprepared to pay the $6bn (£4bn) that Ford was asking for Volvo. But with Ford insiders now suggesting that Mulally is prepared to offload Volvo at a significantly lower price, talks between the two car makers have restarted.

One of the sticking points for any deal with a Chinese maker is the intellectual property agreements concerning the Ford-based platforms on which Volvos are based. Autocar sources say any buyer would be prohibited from using these platforms for any other brand.

Greg Kable

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Comments
8

15 December 2008

Is the Chinese economy stable enough that they can afford to purchase purchase and maintain the running of a company such as Volvo? I'm not so sure.

Also are we going to see the same sort of situation as we saw with Rover, factories in the home country closed or put on small scale production whilst the bulk of its products are produced in China?!?!

Yes it will save the name, but will it save the brand?

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

15 December 2008

"At the time, Geely was unprepared to pay the $6bn (£4bn) that Ford was asking for Volvo. But with Ford insiders now suggesting that Mulally is prepared to offload Volvo at a significantly lower price, talks between the two car makers have restarted."

It would be interesting to know exactly how much less Ford is now willing to accept...

15 December 2008

Oh no. Ford, please don't sell them to China.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

15 December 2008

It will be interesting to know what the Swedish Govn't think of this. TegTypeR is right in stating on how Rover was dealt with. Would the Swedish Govn't try to intervene? It's worrying if Ford is trying to sell all at any price.

16 December 2008

"Autocar sources say any buyer would be prohibited from using these platforms for any other brand."

....and we all know how good the Chinese are when it comes to copyright laws.

19 December 2008

My preference (though this will certainly not happen) would be for Volvo to be sold to Renault, with Volvo's safety/green image complementing Infiniti's sporty image in the premium market. Volvo the truckmaker already makes Renault trucks anyway so there will be incentive not to tarnish one another's brand.

Got to be realistic here. Volvo is perhaps more respected as a premium brand in East Asia (where rich people get chauffeured) than in Europe (where it occupies a niche). So (intellectual property issues aside,) it is not such a bad idea to sell the brand to a market where much of the growth occurs. Given the risk, my preference is Changan (which already builds Mondeo and SMax) or even Dongfeng (which may be under pressure from Volvo the truckmaker given that it builds Nissan Diesel trucks for it). I don't want Geely to acquire it.

19 December 2008

I've seen these Geely cars in Russia, where the Chinese have a fair slice of the new car market (since Lada have become less and less competitive) and they are awful. Poor quality, poor dynamics and surely not a good home for a premium brand like Volvo. My fingers are firmly crossed that a better home can be found before Ford sells them to this apology for a car maker who wil likely just keep the name and steal the technology.

By the way, any news on Saab?

sorrel

19 December 2008

Oh Blimey

We have found out the painful way that the americans dont understand Volvo. So now we could be handing the baton to the chinese, who with all due respect, will just strip the company of all there knowledge and further erode any class Volvo has left.

This is the most desperate example of mishandling I have ever witnessed. To just become a "dumpable commodity" is very, very sad.

Where is the swedish pride? come on Sweden someone buy this talented business and produce classy, characterful product again.

Ford......well you should be utterly and totally ashamed of yourself. Sell to Renault, sell to the a consortium but please, please dont sell them down the river.

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