Chinese buyer for Volvo

Posted on 29 Mar 2010 by The Manufacturer

Ford has announced it will sell Volvo to China's largest privately run automaker, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, for $1.8bn (£1.2bn).

The takeover underscores China’s arrival as a major force in the global auto industry and ends nearly two years of talks over the fate of Volvo.

It is the most recent sale of Ford’s former premier group, which at one stage included Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover.

Geely chairman Li Shufu said he saw huge untapped potential for Volvo in international markets and especially in China, which has not only the biggest, but also one of the fastest growing car markets in the world.

‘I see Volvo as a tiger. (The) tiger belongs to a forest, it can’t be found in a zoo…We need to liberate this tiger,’ he told a press conference after the deal was inked at Volvo Cars headquarters in Gothenburg, southern Sweden.

‘The tiger has a heart and it lies in Sweden, (and) in Belgium, but its power should be projected all over the world. I see China as one of the markets where Volvo can show it has the opportunity to liberate itself.’

In the face of concerns that the Chinese group would slash jobs in Sweden, Geely said it would keep Volvo Cars plants in Sweden and Belgium and was considering opening factories in China for the local market.