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.
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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.
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that a Chinese automaker will step up to the plate and purchase the Swedish brand known for safety, but now Geely has withdrawn its name from the proceedings with the statement, "We don't have plans to buy Volvo as some media have reported."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.
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 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