Sinking Swede? Ford devalues Volvo

Ford won't say what it thinks Volvo is worth, but the Blue Oval does believe that its Swedish subsidiary is worth $2.4 billion less than it was before. Although PAG, Ford's Premier Auto Group comprised of Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo, increased its year-over-year revenue and pre-tax profit in 2007, Volvo once again posted a pre-tax loss for the year. In addition, with Ford's sales outlook for Volvo having been a bit optimistic, the brand's car production will be cut this year by 23,000 units. These are the reasons that Ford cites for the writedown, in addition to "an adverse model mix", i.e. vehicles that consumers don't seem to be interested in buying. Ford, however, says that this is not the first step in a Volvo sale and that it won't start building Volvos in America to counter the crappy exchange rates that jacks up prices.

Ford has largely kept Volvo out of the PAG fire sale discussion. Aston Martin found a new home just after it made a profit for the first time in years, and PAG's improved numbers last year were due solely to the barnbusting business being done over at Land Rover, which was good enough to put both Land Rover and Jaguar's combined business in the black. Ford has a lot of chickens closer to home that it's worrying about right now, but one wonders when it will publicly commit to doing right by Volvo (development-wise and model-wise) or commit to selling it.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]

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