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!]