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2011 Volvo S60 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Volvo may finally part ways with Ford by the end of next week. The Detroit Free Press reports that the Blue Oval is aiming to close its $1.8 billion sale of the Swedish automaker to Geely in as little as 10 days, though Ford has merely said that its goal is to hand over the Volvo reigns by the end of the third quarter of this year. The move to send Volvo packing is part of Ford CEO Alan Mulally's strategy to slim the company down to focus on its core brands – a scheme that seems to be work

2011 Volvo V60 – Click above for high-res image gallery

At press conference in Gothenburg, Sweden today, Ford executive vice president Lewis Booth and Geely chairman Li Shufu announced that the companies have reached a final deal to sell Volvo to the Chinese automaker. The final purchase price is $1.8 billion, which includes some of Volvo's intellectual property and its other physical assets.

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Ford has been trying to offload the Volvo brand since December of 2008, but after years of rumors and speculation those 10 months feel more like a decade. China's Geely has been speculated as the number-one bidder for the Blue Oval's Swedish luxury brand, but a report by Bloomberg asserts that the long-awaited accord could be shelved due to concerns over Ford's intellectual property.

Of the many suitors who have reportedly had at least a passing interest in acquiring the Volvo brand from Ford Motor Company, the Volvo Group, BMW and Daimler have all publicly decided to pass on the opportunity. Many believe that a Chinese automaker will step up to the plate and purchase the Swedish brand known for safety, but now Geely has withdrawn its name from the proceedings with the statement, "We don't have plans to buy Volvo as some media have reported." Well, fine then.

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