• Jan 4, 2010



Volvo's pending sale to Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group could lead to big changes (or not) for the Swedish automaker and its thousands of employees, but what about its hundreds of Volvo dealerships here in the States? Could Volvo dealers be granted Geely franchises? Will the Chinese automaker utilize its new sales channels to slowly introduce low-cost Chinese vehicles to the U.S. market? Automotive News asked dealers from around the country if they would be interested in selling Geely models, and the responses were mixed at best.

According to AN, many dealers were "receptive" to selling low-cost Geely models; a seemingly expected answer for any good business type. Mark O'Steen of O'Steen Volvo in Jacksonville, Florida reportedly called the possibility of selling Geely models "appealing," adding "it is just another niche that we don't cover, and hopefully they do have some potential in the United States." Mike DiChristofano, vice president of Volvo of Tucson in Arizona had perhaps the best answer of all, pointing to the inability of General Motors to selll off Saab (at least to this point), adding "until this deal goes down, I'm not even thinking about selling a Geely car."

Even if Geely does plan to begin selling Chinese vehicles to the U.S. market by using Volvo dealers, the plan will likely take a lot of time to materialize. Geely reportedly has a lot of work to do to improve safety and quality before being ready for the U.S. market. Global Insight analyst Lin Huaibin told AN that Geely is at least five years away from having products ready for American showrooms.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req. | Image: David McNew/Getty]



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Selling Geely brand models through Volvo dealership will destroy Volvo brand's value; the most safe car and the least safe car sold side by side.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well seeing as how they'd have paid billions for it, Geely is likely to incorporate lots of Volvo safety into their own cars. Otherwise their investment makes a lot less sense.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As good as they are, Volvo hasn't been selling well. With their new owners, I suspect the brand quality is about to fall off a cliff anyway.

        The dealers are just desperate to have any product to sell. They'll take Geely.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @hypermiler: you do know that cars in the US are require to list the safety rating on the sticker, right? The Volvo will have a 5 star rating while the Geely will display whateeverr the NHTSA finds it to be.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        Aprime

        There's a market for cars made by a Chinese counterfeiting outfit in the USA?
        • 5 Years Ago
        There's a market for both. :v
      invisiblepigeon3
      • 5 Years Ago
      Doesn't it disgust you that most people don't know the difference? Isn't it a terrifying prospect to be driving on the same road with morons like that?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @invisiblepigeon3
        in my opinion your arguments are just based on your outdated and ridiculous steroetypes of what the chinese are. matter of the fact is they are a growing country and anyone with a first grade qualification will know that it takes more than a day to build up and industry. basing your arguments on things like them being communists is just ignorent not just because technically they arent communist anymore but also we owe them trillions which they paid to save our country. instead of posting on your usual china bashing comments maybe you should sit back and really take a look at how things are going. give them some time and im pretty sure they'll learn to play like the big boys.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        @invisiblepigeon3
        I've come to the conclusion that Autoblog's comment system was designed by the Chinese. It never works. Click "reply" to a million times and it never does. Brilliant!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why sell cheap Geely-branded cars, when you can just sell cheap Chinese-made "Volvos" and leach off the safety image that Volvo has built up over quite a few decades?? Most Americans won't even know the difference... at least until they sit in it, or drive it, or crash it.

      After all, they own (or will soon own) the brand, so they can rather easily say that the new Volvo GreatWall190 is a proper Volvo, when all it is is a rebadge.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hate to seen Chinese cars in the US market. I think that it will start a race to the bottom in terms of price and sacrificed will be quality and durability.

      I have already seen this happen in so many industries, mainly electronics. But the market seems to focus on price, thank you Wal Mart, and everything else is secondary. You just can really buy good products anymore. They just barely last long-enough to get out of the box and it all because of the cost-cutting arms race.

      I am an engineer who developes products and I see first-hand what is sacrificed on the altar of low cost. That is all upper-management ever says is reduce cost, reduce cost, reduce cost. Except when they want to know why return rates can't be brought down.

      I just hate to see this happen further with the auto industry. I want to be able to pay for good stuff, even if it is a bit more expensive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thanks, Patrick,

        You convinced me with your incredibly articulate and persuasive arguement and all the carefully laid out reasoning and counter-examples that you provided. Now, I won't just have to accept your opinion that I am misguided and trust your obviously superior wisdom.

        In the last few months I have experienced several products fail at a very young stage in life. They are all Chinese manufactured electronics and they are all cheap. Dead hard drive less than a year old, dead wireless network bridge less than a year old, dead CD/DVD rom drive a couple of years old, dead surge protector power distribution box less than two years old. It is hard to buy good stuff anymore.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jake,

        You touch on some good points. But you are ultimately misguided.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, Geely/Volvo can create a new brand and they can sell cars. If they don't want to ruin Volvo's image. They can base new Geely's off older, proven Volvo's similarly to what VW did with the old A4 and Seat Exeo. That would make Geely have decent tech, safety and design.(Assuming they let Volvo design/teach Geely cars/designers that aren't rip-offs or just suck.)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wrote it before, I say it again. What would be the point of thsi transaction for FoMoCo? To give away Ford best technology for a lousy 2 bill$? All Volvos use Ford technological base (or better to say, Volvo does most of the development for Ford), while over half of the Volvos are made in a Ford factory. For this money, Ford would give away its future technology (you can imagine how competitive Ford would be in Europe on american models, see GMs few failured attempts), and would renounce its ecomony of scale. The whole campign sounds like a fake publicity for a nonexisting chinese brand. They are making a less cars than Volvo on a low tech basis, and not afraid to show obviously fake technology in car shows. Besides, they already annunced this summer that they already bought Volvo. Any more serious news?
        • 5 Years Ago
        > What would be the point of thsi transaction for FoMoCo?

        Ford desperately needs cold hard cash. Ford didn't go bankrupt because they borrowed $20 billion from banks prior to financial meltdown, and those loans are maturing.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Lets see, what Volvo accomplished just this year: new twin turbo I5 Diesel engines, Dual clutch automatic transmission, City safety, the latest small 2.0 turbo petrol engines (not even introduced in Fords yet!) a brand new modell with the XC60 that beats Germanys latest offerings, a fully integrated low CO2 "drive" diesel model line for Europe, the first non-Ford basis modell in 6 years with the S60. Plus, when Mattin left, Horbury came back immediately from FoMoCo. Ford is still putting its best into Volvo AT THIS VERY MOMENT. The whole thing does not add up. If you have any plans to quit a marriage, you first start to separate things. Ford is not doing any such thing. Plus, a brand that is able to offer good match against Audi in most of its model line worth way much more. The whole set of news just screaming full of nonsense. If ford wuld be such a need of cash there would be many more ways to obtain it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      No, thank you.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Let them. As long as we get presentations like this, in Chinese.

      http://www.geely.com/brands/international/video07.html
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol it's the most ridiculous thing I've seen in a long time lol!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Some folks need to calm down, the Chinese are coming whether you like it or not.

      The Geely acquisition is not a done deal, when it's finalized they've agreed to basically keep Geely and Volvo separate brands with the existing management,plants, dealers, and labor union agreements.

      If and when it goes down, Volvo's don't all of the sudden become "made in China".

      People being concerned by this is understandable, but let's not go crazy with this like it's the end of Volvo.... because it isn't.

      Li Shufu the Chairman of Geely is downright impressive and don't forget this deal is more about the domestic Chinese market which if successful could result in significant resources (that Ford currently lacks) for Volvo in Europe and the USA.

      The bottom line is that much remains to be seen, my take is that the Chinese will get this right and surprise folks in a positive way.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        Surprise us by making something that's not deadly, defective or counterfeit like Geely's other cars?

        http://www.oddee.com/item_86044.aspx

        Get real buddy. All the propaganda in the world won't change the fact that the Chinese can't do anything right, because they're communists and therefore corruption is the only way to make a profit. If they had a capitalist model, making money would necessitate things like innovation and better products. Instead, they just rip off the "capitalist pig westerners" and make counterfeits of their designs.

        Go buy some Wal Mart toothpaste or fake eggs now, and tell us how that works out for you. Tell us how surprisingly good the poison tastes LOL.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "All the propaganda in the world won't change the fact that the Chinese can't do anything right, because they're communists and therefore corruption is the only way to make a profit."

      As offensive as I found it, have to say there's a grain of truth there, but long gone are the days when you could call China a "communists" country. Can anybody explains how the China-made crap made their way into capitalist America, which is supposed to be an innovation-based economy?
      • 5 Years Ago
      At one time I had respect for Volvo. Now they have to resort to slumming. Such a shame that they would even consider this.
      • 5 Years Ago


      I just hope Gaylee (or Greeley) comes out with screen savers showing their cars.
    • Load More Comments