REPORT: Geely says it will continue to let Volvo be Volvo
Reuters reports that Volvo has nothing to worry about, at least according to the head cheese at Geely. Geely founder and chairman Li Shufu reportedly told the official Xinhua news agency "if the deal succeeds, nothing will change for Volvo, except the boss turns to Li Shufu," adding that Volvo and Geely will be "independently-managed brands." Besides showing that CEOs can be as good at referring to themselves in the third person as any pro athlete, Shufu also insisted that Volvo's production, research and development facilities, union agreements and dealer networks will all be left intact.
Reuters estimates that acquiring Volvo will cost Geely about $1.8 billion dollars, though Shufu adds that the complications over intellectual property were much more costly than the final price tag. The Geely chief added that Volvo could help the Chinese automaker move more upscale, including helping the company build what he calls an "energy-powered vehicle." We're guessing he's referring to electric vehicles.
Shufu making such a public statement is likely welcome news to the many workers at Volvo, but there will likely be at least some changes in store for the storied Swedish automaker. For example, Shufu mentioned that Geely could help Volvo lower production costs, which could mean that parts that are currently produced in Europe could instead be made in China where labor is considerably cheaper. Beyond that, who knows what future lies ahead of Volvo. Shufu may be saying all the right things now, but his actions over the next few years will show whether he means what he says.
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