Ford bought Volvo for $6.4 billion back in 1999. Now, a decade later, unconfirmed reports say the automaker is asking nearly the same amount -- $6 billion -- for the Swedish brand.

Ford may sell Volvo to demonstrate active steps to cut costs (a critical move as Mulally is in Washington asking Congress for financial assistance as you read this). Although it's a buyer's market, Volvo isn't exactly the hottest catch. Like everyone else, the automaker is struggling in today's market as reported sales in the third-quarter were down 24%. Volvo has cut thousands of jobs, and has even been in recent talks with the Swedish government about financial support. Potential buyers of Volvo include SAIC Motor Corp., China's largest automaker, and Hyundai Motor Co., from South Korea. Another option would be for the Swedish government to become the temporary owner until a suitable industrial buyer is found, but we think that has the same chance as the Detroit 3 being federalized.

[Source: Bloomberg]

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