With General Motors and Ford both trying to divest themselves of underperforming operations that aren't core to their U.S.-based businesses, the automakers are finding things tougher than simply locating someone willing to write a check. As automakers have rationalized their operations, they have done a lot of platform and technology sharing among the brands under their umbrellas, making extracting individual marques a difficult business. Because automakers around the world are struggling, finding buyers is even more problematic, and the world's most willing bidders seem to be in places like China and Russia – locales where respect for intellectual property rights is dubious.
The Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. bid for Opel was killed because of such concerns. Magna's bid has faced similar worries because much of the financing is coming from Russia.

The lead bidder for Ford's Volvo unit is currently Chinese automaker Geely, but Ford is apparently having second thoughts because it doesn't want to share too much of its technology with the potential buyer. A second potential purchaser has entered the picture, a U.S.-based group with backing from several private equity funds. The Crown consortium has reportedly offered less up-front money than Geely but made similar investment commitments to the Swedish brand. If things don't work out with Geely, Ford could turn to the American group, but no one is talking publicly right now.

[Source: Financial Times]

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