• May 29, 2007
Earlier this month, Autocar reported that BMW had expressed significant interest in buying the Volvo brand from Ford Motor Company early in 2007. The report claimed BMW had gone so far as to request financial data about the Swedish automaker.

Yesterday, the Swedish newspaper Goteborgs Posten threw another logo on this rumor's fire by reporting that sources within Ford have confirmed that BMW is exploring the possibility of purchasing Volvo. Another source has even claimed BMW and Ford have already begun informal talks.

Our previous post already touched on all the questions that need answering, including why BMW, which became the go-it-alone automaker after owning Land Rover left a bad taste in its mouth, would jump back into the ownership game. Also, while BMW and Volvo have distinct identities (the Ultimate Driving Machine versus the ultimate safety machine), there would at least be some overlap in their respective lineups.

Finally, while Ford has stated that nothing is sacred when it comes to its Premiere Automotive Group, of which Volvo is a member, why would it sell one of PAG's most promising brands? We have an answer for that one: Volvo's actually worth something. While many, including Ford itself, might hate to see Volvo leave the fold, the Swedish brand would likely catch a premium price on the market and help Ford fund its turnaround.

Would a BMW/Volvo ticket capture the consumer's heart? This armchair analyst is hardly qualified to give an answer, except to say that Volvo is a brand on the verge of some big things (C30 anyone?) and requires a patient parent company with deep enough pockets to see it through.

Thanks to everyone who sent us the tip!]

[Source: Reuters]


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  • 15 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Eric B: That they do not compete in the US does not mean they do not compete elsewhere. Here in Europe, Audi A4 2.0 TDI, Volvo V50 2.0d, BMW 318d are direct competitors especially in the fleet car segment, as well as A6 2.7 TDI, V70 D5, BMW 520d. Here in Europe you can buy BMWs 1series with just 85kW, still fun to drive but very close to a C30 or A3...
      • 7 Years Ago
      BMW's not exactly a go-ot-alone company due to Mini and Rolls-Royce.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This would not make any sense: BMW uses an RWD layout with longitudally mounted engines and Volvo an FWD transversal layout. The amount of parts shared would be just to low. Years after burning lots of cash with Rover BMW would not try the same experiment again. And converting Volvos to RWD again would make them even more direct competitors to BMWs.

      If someone buys Volvo, it will be Renault. Since Infiniti is a weak luxury brand, Volvo would perfectly fit the lineup and would introduce some great platforms and engines to share. And it would continue old ties: I guess you all remember the V40s and 480s with Renault engines or the Safrane with an Volvo I5...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I spotted some comments on the French blog "Le Blog Auto" about it
      http://www.leblogauto.com/2007/05/bmw-serait-interesse-par-le-rachat-de-volvo-automobile.html

      Some said on this French blog then BMW wants Volvo to eleminate one opponent in a more long-term.

      Matthias, there even a more older link between Volvo and Renault, they did a joint-venture with Peugeot to create the V6 PRV who had been used in the old 240/260 series as well as the 740/760 series before they switched to Inline-6 in the early 1990s.
      Volvo once used V6, maybe I could imagine them with the upcoming Ford TwinForce in the upcoming years ;-)

      (And maybe Renault wants to grab Volvo again once they'll in a better financial situation, currently they are in a slide moment in Europe, I spotted this old article dated from 2003 about Renault eyeing Volvo http://car-reviews.automobile.com/news/industry-report-europes-renault-wants-to-buy-volvo/503/ )

      Strange they aren't interested to Jaguar. And if Ford decide to sell, what they could ask in return? A small stake of BMW?
      • 6 Years Ago
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      • 7 Years Ago
      BMW & Volvo would not have conflicting markets. There are to many shared platforms out there and it costs money to produce the same car with so many name tags. Like a Mini, people would know the Volvo is not a normal BMW.

      It is a shame that Ford has to sell their assets to stay afloat.
      • 7 Years Ago
      BMW: I like inline6s and clutch pack drivetrains (BMW's xDrive) and long walks in the Black forest.
      Volvo: and I also like inline6s and clutch coupled axles (Haldex) and days with 20 hours of darkness.

      BMW's got their N52 & N54 and Volvo's has their B6324S & B6304T2. Sounds good
      • 7 Years Ago
      John, your statement says it all: "...and requires a patient parent company with deep enough pockets to see it through."

      Ford doesn't have two spare nickels to rub together, much less enough to fund Volvo's caopital requirements.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ford does not have two spare nickels? You need to learn how to read financial statements. While their profitability is in the tank, they still have a bit of capital.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford would be really stupid to get rid of Volvo. But then again, of all the automakers, Ford is the worst managed.

      See this BusinessWeek article: http://www.businessweek.com//magazine/content/07_23/b4037036.htm

      It is one of the most honest, yet even-handed, critiques I have seen of Ford.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't see the merger being good for Volvo. Many of their cars are in competition with BMW. Volvo who prices similar cars below those of BMW's is drawing some potiential buyers from BMW. It's assame S60 is killed. Under BMW ownership I only can see more Volvo lineup being dropped. Where it'll move more into niche market to where there's less competition, ie c30. I don't see this being good to Volvo.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why doesn't BMW take that cash and buy Subaru before Toyota does (and munipulates it). AWD Subaru's are great. Think about it. Subaru will bring some better umph to its segment with some BMW technology, engines, etc. And BMW would benefit from the vast AWD systems from Subaru. That would make way more sense than all of the stupid changes that would have to go on if purchasing Volvo. Not to mention the 3 series and the s40/s60 go head to head. And especially the S80 and the 5series, those two are vertually the same. So BMW, before you make the jump, look at other car manufacturers, like Subaru, jaguar, mitsubishi (who are finally back in the game), or someone else.
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