• Nov 10, 2007
Ford only lost hundreds of millions during the third quarter of 2007, versus the 5-something billion they torched through for the same period in 2006. Sales and revenue are up, and while we can't see it yet, there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, it could be attached to a train, but let's focus on the positive. Ford's been eyeing the sell off of some of their PAG holdings as a way to stem their ongoing losses, and it's been speculated that Volvo could be on the chopping block. For now, though, the brand appears to be something that Ford wants to hang on to. Along with the third-quarter finances, Ford announced a new stragegy is in the works for Volvo. Mulally has pledged to improve Volvos' stature as a premium product, as well as improving their cost structure (a corporate way to say make more money on the cars by driving down costs).
Volvo's platforms and technology are spread pretty liberally throughout the rest of Ford. The Taurus/Sable rides on a version of Volvo's P2 platform, and the Mazda 3, Euro Focus (yes, we know, "send it over here Ford, I'll buy one" - whatevs, you know you won't), and C30/S40/V50 are all on the C1 platform, while the EUCD platform which underpins the S80 and the new XC70/V70 wagons, as well as the upcoming Lincoln MKS. It would be hard for Ford to just cut the brand loose tomorrow, though reading between the lines makes it seem like they're positioning the Swedish automaker for future sale. The new plan includes improving the image of Volvo to a more premium status, distancing Ford from Volvo's operations, and fast-tracking product development. Making the division nearly an independent entity will increase its attractiveness when suitors come knocking, but it looks like Ford's biding its time for now, doing prep work to ensure a fat sale price when the eventuality occurs.

[Source: LLN]


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  • 29 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hey autoblog, the Mazda 3, Euro Focus, and c30/s40/v50 are on the c1 platform. The others are on EUCD.

      Hopefully, they don't sell Volvo...ever. It has much more potential in the future than Jag or LR
        • 7 Years Ago
        Thanks for catching that, Reuben - you're right, my oversight. The EUCD is an evolution of the C1, but the smaller cars do ride the C1.

        Thanks, fixed now.

        Dan
      • 7 Years Ago
      As a current owner of an XC90 and S80, I never understood Ford's desire to sell Volvo. Ford needs Volvo FAR MORE than Volvo needs Ford.

      Volvo has given Ford so much technology advancement in safety, FWD, platform design suitable for the EU market and more. What has Ford given Volvo other than partnering them with other PAG brands, Jaguar and Land Rover, in combined dealerships. Volvo never needed Ford's money. They were profitable before the purchase. Whatever happens, I hope Volvo continues to do what it is doing now and continues to grow. They have some great product development in the pipeline and their future is far brighter than Ford's.
        • 7 Years Ago
        No, Volvo need Ford badly, too. Volvo could not survive without Ford platforms - and so-called Volvo platforms wouldn't exist, and wouldn't have been developed without Ford sharing them. Volvo's just to small.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The real question is is Ford Mismanaging Volvo.
      - Volvo has that nice 1.8 liter diesel in Europa, why aren't they selling that in the USA?
      - Volvo's AWD works with the 6 cylinder in Europe, but, in the US Volvo can only sell it with the V8.
      - Volvo is selling Horsepower in the US? That's a CLEAR indication Ford doesn't know how to sell Volvo cars. If there's ever a brand that could sell Safety and Efficiency, it's Volvo.
        • 7 Years Ago



        There are so many problems with getting a diesel in the US believe me they are working on the problem but it is not as simple as just bringing the engine over here. Look at how many problems VW and Mercedes have had with getting diesels over here right now and they have been doing it off an on for years.

        Err You can get AWD with a couple of Six Cylinder Volvos. The S80 T6 for one and the XC90 with the 3.2 for another.


        They are selling Horsepower with the V8 XC90 and the V8 S80 which is what people in that market segment want. Those two vehicles are going up against the V8 X5 and the 550i which are big Horsepower cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This might not be so good cause Ford might put Volvo right were Jag is now and let Lincoln and Mercury suffer again....

      I just hope they dont do that and let Lincoln get back to were it was a few years ago... competing against Cadillac
      • 7 Years Ago
      Okay, so we know the writer of this article is a snob ("send it over here Ford, I'll buy one" - whatevs, you know you won't)... the implication being: Americans are too provincial, too unsophisticated, in order to buy a "Euro-Ford". Gee, I guess having a degree from the University of California, traveling around the world, and owning a dozen European cars, makes me an unsophisticated, "whatev" buyer, right, Mr. Dan Roth? The fact is, my family has owned Austin Healey, Volkswagen, BMW, Alfa Romeo vehicles... and we would STILL by Euro cars, if they were imported to the US market. And yes, in Europe, I drove Opels and British Fords, and, guess what? Me, the "rube American", LOVED those (superior) vehicles. Mr. Roth, maybe you should leave your ivory tower occasionally, and meet your fellow Americans... you've spent too much time on the cocktail party circuit! Americans can (and will) buy the best, most interesting, most beautiful, most exhilarating automobile they can find... the problem is, US car makers are too timid, or too snobbish, or too condescending, to provide said cars.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, Dan, that old Focus hatchback they brought over 8 years ago sure was a failure, wasn't it.

        Face it, Ford is screwed. They've got great cars overseas that would appeal to changing American tastes (mostly due to high gas prices) like the Mondeo Estate, Smax and Focus, but, unlike GM with Saturn, they are unwilling to bring them over. Instead, they spend the money that could have been used for NA certification on cars nobody wants like the new Focus.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I clearly don't understand Fords great idea about a world car like Focus and Economies of a scale by mass production of the car on several continents when they simply change the Focus for the U.S and have a cool one in Europe. I drive an A4, but for all intensive purposes I would rock the Euro Focus ANY day fo the week. That has got to be the baddest small hatch I've ever seen! Forgive me for thinking that Ford started in the U.S but provide us with second rate vehicles. Lastly Volvo has ALL the criteria Ford should be paying attention to. Ford needs to eat their own dog food and use Volvo interior ideas and quality to position Lincoln within reach or at least equal to Volvo. Ford needs some Euro influence in its life aside from its awesome Focus.
      • 7 Years Ago

      I agree with the article.
      Painful as it may be to part with Volvo, I think we will part with it some day.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sounds like one crazy plan alright!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Dan,

      Part of me sees your point that people seem to say one thing, but buy another. On the flip side, I would imagine the Euro Focus to sell in the USA for around the same amount as the Mazda3 and the Mazda3 has had year-over-year sales increases in the USA for so many months that I stopped counting.

      I went to Ford of UK's website and optioned out a Focus that I would want. It came to 19,990 pounds. If I were to buy that with US $, it would be almost $40,000, but....

      I also went to Mazda's UK site and optioned out a Mazda. It's more difficult because all the prices are there in the "specs and pricing" brochure, but you can't just check boxes like you can on the Ford site. Anywho, a 5 door Mazda 3 came to around 22,851 pounds.

      The funny things is that I own the US version of the Mazda 3 I priced out and only paid ~$21,000 for it (it's fully loaded less the nav system).

      This leads me to believe that the Euro Focus could be sold in the USA at Mazda 3 prices.

      For now, I will continue to say, "Bring it Over!" and walk the walk the only way I can, by spending cash on the closest thing we have available.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Mike - Volvo's AWD works with the 6 cylinder in Europe, but, in the US Volvo can only sell it with the V8."

      You must be referring to the 2007 S80. It is now available with the turbo 6 and in Canada, it can be had with the non-turbo 6 and AWD. That config is coming to the US in 2008. Every other Volvo model that offers the 6 in the US is available with AWD.


      • 7 Years Ago
      As a recently retired Ford Powertrain Engineer, I can tell you things are not as rosey as they might seem. While Ford has picked up some great platforms from Volvo and seats (safest seats in US built cars are in the Taurus), you may notice that is about it.

      Volvo still has unique powertrains like their inline 6 and Yamaha V8. The V80 was originally slated for the MKS, but the TwinForce that replaced it is more cost effective.

      If Ford is planning on keeping Volvo around, they have to get Volvo to start adapting more Ford designs (like engines) and production practices. Some mid-level Ford exec think that Volvo can do no wrong, but some Volvo production technique just don't scale.
      • 7 Years Ago
      and i bet volvo is losing customers due this luxury only strategy. having purchased 3 volvos since 94, i might have to go back to vw to get my diesel. please ford, don't do to volvo what you are doing to yourself in the us.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ford's ownership of Volvo is sad, but sadder still is its mismanagement of Jaguar and Land Rover. Why in the world are Volvo and Land Rover using that weak 3.2L inline six when they can put the cheaper, more powerful, and more efficient 3.5L V-6 from America in those cars/trucks?
        Hopefully, they're working on it. But they'd better do it soon, before they run out of time and money. I'm rooting for Ford, but I wouldn't bet a dime on their success.
        • 7 Years Ago
        i do think there are efficiencies to the Volvo/ford alliance - mainly in buying power for volvo. when i took delivery of my 2002 v70 it was apparent that this was a bigger, heavier car and more car than the 1999 v70 i owned. and it was only about $1,000.00 more. i saw that as a ford related benefit. the simple things i could see were door handles. while i preferred the 99's real door handles, the 02 had handles that looked like they came from the taurus in action and appearance. i assumed they were ford parts. on the flip side, ford owes it safety improvements directly to volvo. ford - no relationship works when it is an all take and no give. and don't make volvo your new "mercury" brand either.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Agreed, Volvo should avoid the luxury only marketing. The 240 sold well for years, and was not a luxury car. And Christopher, give me a break, The Ford 3.5 V6 does not belong in a Volvo. From what I've seen, no American made engine is as durable as Volvo's inline engines. We have a '97 850 with 260k miles and a '02 V70XC with 185k and neither has had any major mechanical failures. I haven't come across many US made engines that can go 250k plus and still be leak-free, smooth and quiet.
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