Ford will invite the losing bidder for Opel/Vauxhall to bid for Volvo
31 July 2009

Ford plans to invite the losing bidder for Opel/Vauxhall to submit an offer for Volvo, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The paper says Ford is stalling with its efforts to sell the Swedish firm in a bid to get a better price for it and is resisting efforts from Chinese manufacturers, including BAIC and Geely.

RHJ International and Magna are currently in talks with GM about taking a stake in Opel/Vauxhall, and a source close to Volvo said Ford was watching the outcome of the deal very closely.

“Expect nothing to happen for another three to four weeks,” said the source, referring to the timeframe in which the winning bidder for Opel/Vauxhall is expected to be announced.

Ford put its struggling Volvo brand up for sale in December, as it looked to cut costs and raise cash amid industry-wide record low vehicle sales.

Ford chief financial officer Lewis Booth told reporters after second-quarter results last week that the company was in talks with a number of parties over the Volvo sale.

BAIC, which failed in its bid for Opel, has the support of the Beijing municipal government to bid for Volvo, other sources said last week, while Geely has been consistently linked with making a cut-price bid for the firm.

In a blog entry posted on GM Europe's website earlier this week, GM's chief negotiator, John Smith, said he still expected a deal for Opel/Vauxhall to be finalised by the end of September, although no preference has been made yet for one of the two bidders, and key points with Magna's offer still have to be resolved.

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