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by Matt Brogan

The new owners of Volvo, Chinese manufacturer Geely want to keep Volvo a separate entity in order to protect the Swedish manufacturer’s image in the European and North American markets as well as China.

“We want to be careful not to damage the Volvo brand,” Freeman Shen, Geely’s vice president for international operations said. Shen was educated in the United States and was formerly in charge of Fiat Powertrain Technologies in China.

There has been concern over Geely’s ability to maintain Volvo’s upmarket position, Geely has plans to open a Volvo assembly plant in China. Shen said that the Geely line-up and the Volvo operation would be run independently. Geely will be gaining technologies from Volvo, engineering, safety and assembly know-how but not at the expense of its own products.

“We don’t want the image of a luxury car made in a third world country,” Shen said. “We want the image of a European luxury car, albeit owned by a Chinese owner.”

It is expected Geely will sign the deal to buy Volvo from Ford around the middle February, most likely to occur within hours of GM’s sale of Saab’s to Spyker.




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