Ford has denied it is considering selling Volvo Cars due to the Swedish manufacturers financial woes

Ford has strenuously denied it is considering selling Volvo Cars, despite the Swedish carmaker running into financial trouble.

Volvo has posted a loss of $151m in the first quarter of 2008, compared with a $94m profit in the same quarter last year. Sources claim that Volvo could be poised to make significant job cuts to help to turn the financial situation around. Lewis Booth, chairman of Ford Europe, said “Volvo is not for sale and we are about improving the business”. Volvo is also under pressure from the strength of Swedish Krona against the US Dollar, which makes it very difficult to profit from export sales to the US.

Volvo sources told Autocar that sales of the new V70 estate car – the company’s bedrock model – had started to slide, despite the model being less than a year old.Swedish Volvo dealers are said to have complained that the V70’s design was not distinctive enough and that the new model was not a significant step forward over the previous V70.

At a recent meeting of industrialists in Sweden, Volvo was also criticised by a brand specialist who questioned Volvo’s model strategy. The specialist suggested that a “family-orientated company” had made a mistake having three different saloon models in its line-up, and for investing in the compact, three-door C30 sports hatch. He also questioned Volvo’s lack of a large, stylish MPV.

Ford is also under public pressure form new investors. The Tracinda Group, an aggressive investment corporation led by Kirk Kerkorian has recently made a cash offer for 20 million Ford shares and a spokesman told the press that Ford should “sell Volvo and the US Mercury brand”.

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Comments
15

7 May 2008

Surely they can only sell Volvo if they completely re-engineer their volvo-based vehicles. Else everyone knows how the car works and their new cars are easily outcompeted.

7 May 2008

Having one of the most inconsistent and confusing line ups doesn't help Volvo, as well as have ideas above their station like Rover did 15 years ago. Everyone knows the S40/V50 is a Focus sized car, but why try and palm it off as a Mondeo (even 3-Series) rival when that is clearly the job of the S60. And as for the V70, it's now an executive class estate compared to its predecessor which was basically an S60 wagon.

And as for the C30 (read 3dr S40/V50), i've not seen many of these around! Or the latest S80.

7 May 2008

I think Roy is right. However, I also think that Volvo is a cool brand. I like the XC70 and the C70 convertible. Its a shame to hear that they're not doing well when they've turned the corner on coolness. I am sure many will disagree with me !

7 May 2008

Used to have a V40 T4 and it was the most unreliable car I have ever had and I am not talking small things either.

Turbo at 25k, head gasket times 3 at about 55k and finally auto box failure at 75k.

My dad has an S80 and it has not been very reliable either with a lot of electrical problems.

I've been in a C30 and the ride is terrible and interior quality dire.

The new S40/V50 is pretty rubbish as well on the drives I have had in them - the floating centre console thingy is a plethora of tiny buttons and not user friendly and the ignition key slot is behind the indicator stalk high on the dash and so is awkward to get to.

7 May 2008

I've seen quite of few C30's. Spotted a very lovely Red one the other day. Like it a lot! Just wished Ford had done more of the suspension set up...

I think Volvo has lost its way. I should be a range of luxury family cars, without the sporting edge, and with better safety than any other maker out there bar none

7 May 2008

on the flip side I previously had 3 Volvo's in a row each from new to 90K and had no problems, by comparison my current Honda feels very brittle At 45K I suspect the wheel bearings are going and its already had new brake disks, the Volvos never wore out. I do think the S40/V50 were a waste of time for Volvo, they should have concentrated on brilliant cruisers, anyone who's done a 9 hour drive in an S60 will know what I mean, its another world. I like the C30 and would consider it any day over a jarring and painfully dull A3. The V70 is a disaster, it look terrible over 3 quarters. I think the S80 is a handsome well built car but its in a residual rut that is impossible to get out. The new baby SUV will be a big hit I think, I hear lots of mums moan at the school gates that their XC90 are too big and a pain but their husbands insist on everything most valuable to them travels in a Swedish safe deposit box!

8 May 2008

Have you seen their cars?

I agree with robe.

NAK

8 May 2008

I have had a V70 for 5 years and did 68k miles in it, the dealer was great and I have loved the whole experience despite expensive running costs. However, now is the time to change and Volvo has nothing that suits my needs. The new V70 doesn't offer the occasional seats in the boot that I have found so useful in my current car and I can't stomach the cost or stigma of a XC90. Ultimately I have chosen a new Galaxy so Ford hasn't lost out but Volvo no longer offer a family car that works for me - a family man who occasionally needs to carry more than 5 people. On the same note a 5 door C30 would have suited my parent’s desire for a quality small car down to the ground, 3 doors wasn’t an option and the S40 seemed too big to them. Another sale lost and a VW Golf now sits in their drive.Sad really but I think there model planning is weak and I'm not surprised that they are in difficulty.

8 May 2008

I've seen more CityRovers and McLaren SLRs than I've seen C30s. A shame because it's a goodlooking car, just too big to be the Mini rival it ought to be, the way an S40/V50 is too small, an S60 too long etc (though the monster huge A4 has now caught up.) I was in the market for a mid-life crisis sporty hatchback with three doors last year. The Mini was too small and looked like young man's clothes on someone middle-aged and on the test drive I briefly felt like an embarrassing uncle dancing to hip-hop at a wedding. The A3 was just too boring. The C30 was really appealing until the dealer spent ten minutes trying to work out the parcel shelf arrangement and then I took a drive. So I got a 120dSE with some bells and whistles and I'm happy accelerating out of roundabouts and being pushed by the rear wheels. I've noticed a lot of C30 offers lately, slashed prices, 0% et cetera. And the C70 pretends it's an A4/3-series rival when it's just a Focus CC in a prettier body and should be priced to rival the Eos. The range is a mess, but taken individually they're not bad cars, if greedily priced. Fortunately for us, unfortunately for Volvo, not bad ain't good enough. They must be in a better position than poor old Saab, though.

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