Volvo is poised to rapidly inflate its presence in China, and it believes the way forward is through an $11 billion spending plan. "We want to revive Volvo and give the brand its strength back," says Li Shufu, Chairman of Geely Automobile Holdings. Speaking with German magazine Wirtschafts Woche, Shufu disclosed that Geely will put up $11 billion for a new engine factory, increased research and development and technology upgrades. However, Volvo's Per-Ake Froberg tells Reuters that Volvo itself will be providing the funds through borrowing and other means.
No matter where the funding comes from, the investment is meant to aggressively drive the Volvo brand in the Chinese market, where the Swedish brand sold about 50,000 cars last year. Geely wants Volvo to account for 20 percent of the premium car market in just three years(!) with a target of 200,000 vehicles for 2014. It's all part of an ambitious plan to double Volvo sales over the next ten years, and for its stewardship, Geely will get a new premium brand for China that uses Volvo tech and engineering. In addition, the two brands will be combining their purchasing power to get better deals from suppliers and small engine and electric vehicle development will also be shared between Volvo and Geely.
As the last Swedish brand standing, it's heartening to see that Geely has designs on increasing Volvo's sales. Here's hoping the recently voracious appetite for cars in the Chinese market doesn't shortchange American buyers looking for Nordic iron.