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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

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.

It's going to cost up to $2 billion for Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. to take ownership of Volvo, but according to a new report out of BusinessWeek, that lofty figure is just the cost of entry. Volvo union members and the board have apparently told the Chinese automaker that it will need at least $1.4 billion to repair the storied Swedish automaker.

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Back in October, Ford anointed China's Geely Holding Group as its preferred bidder for Swedish Automaker Volvo. The move made perfect sense for Ford, simply because Geely was offering money and the recent happenings in the auto industry proved that, beyond the shadow of a doubt, you can never have too much money. But it should come as a surprise of nobody that there is a significant delegation of past and present members of Volvo management that aren't all that thrilled with being engulfed by an

Just about every time an automaker decides to sell one of its brands, Chinese automaker Geely comes up as one of the potential suitors. Geely executive Lawrence Ang has reportedly told Automotive News that the reason Geely has been present at a lot of negotiating tables is because it wants to grow in part through acquisitions. And while the Chinese automaker has yet to finalize any big-ticket buys, it appears to be the front-runner for Ford's Volvo unit.

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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.

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, findi

If, like us, you've been following the Volvo saga pretty closely, you'll remember that several Chinese companies are considered to be among the top bidders for the Swedish automaker when Ford officially opens the bidding. Although Geely has said they aren't interested, that didn't rule out other Chinese outfits.

Volvo has been struggling for a while now, and recently the Swedish automaker shed 6,000 jobs to stem the tide of red ink. To make matters more interesting, Volvo could soon be working with a new owner. Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri is quoting unnamed sources as saying Ford could rid itself of Volvo by Easter weekend. The interested parties are rumored to be Dongfeng Motor Group and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co, along with a "European constellation," whatever that means.

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.

At this point, Ford's sale of Volvo appears imminent. The only question now is who wants to take the Swedish automaker off the Blue Oval's hands. Last week we told you of a possible sale as early as mid-February, and now Reuters is reporting that the buyer could be Renault. The two automakers allegedly got together in the fall to discuss the outright purchase of Volvo and now, the two have apparently resumed talks.

We already know that Ford has placed Volvo on the auction block and is actively shopping its Swedish brand to at least one Chinese automaker. New rumors indicate that there may be more players in China with more than a passing interest in taking the brand off the Blue Oval's hands. If SAIC doesn't bite at Ford's $6 billion asking price, Geely has emerged as a possible bidder and officials from the Chinese automaker have reportedly made the trip all the way to Volvo's headquarters in Gothenburg,

Ford bought Volvo for $6.4 billion back in 1999. Now, a decade later, unconfirmed reports say the automaker is asking nearly the same amount -- $6 billion -- for the Swedish brand.

Another day, another rumor of the sale of Volvo's automobile operations. Of course, Ford is the current owner of the Swedish maker of shapely bricks, and the Blue Oval could definitely use the money as it tries to regains its shaky footing in its home market. A sale of Volvo has been spoken of for the last few years, and industry talk has seemed to pick up steam as Ford unloaded the other automakers that used to make up its now defunct Premium Auto Group. BMW has been mentioned as a possible sui

Ford says Volvo's not for sale, and the Blue Oval would be smart to hold on to its remaining vestige of the Premier Auto Group as long as it can, especially since engineering and platforms have become so entwined with Dearborn's product line. For its part, Volvo is angling to take on the high end Germans. Volvos have long been premium products, having built a reputation on exceptional durability, meticulous engineering, and of course, safety. Try as it might, however, Volvo has a hard time compe

Volvo, once the success story in Ford's Premier Automotive Group, has hit choppy waters. And according to Wall Street Journal insiders, Ford is preparing to treat the Swedish automaker the same way it did the English ones: slap some floaties on it and keep the brand bobbing long enough to sell it.