It’s a pretty safe bet that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, China’s Geely Automotive will take over Ford’s Volvo brand sometime in the new year, which begs the question of just how the well-known brand will change.
Now in response to this question, Geely has reassuringly announced that it has no plans to modify the current business operations of Volvo once the deal is struck.
According to the latest press releases by both Ford and Geely, the sale of the Swedish Volvo brand to the Chinese automaker has been set in motion and is expected to close during the second quarter of 2010. Ford specified that all substantive commercial terms have reached agreement, and now only the details are left to be worked out.
Consumers and critics alike have voiced concern over the future of the Volvo brand under new ownership. Volvo is a brand that has established itself as a leader in safety and innovation and it leans heavily on the public’s belief in these attributes to sell its vehicles. Conversely, Chinese automakers are notorious for having extremely low safety and crash standards, in addition to quality shortfalls.
“If the deal succeeds, nothing will change for Volvo, except the boss turns to Li Shufu,” said Mr Li Shufu, Founder and Chairman of Geely Automotive. “Volvo and Geely will be two independently managed brands.”
Mr Shufu went on to explain that Geely’s primary interest in Volvo was in the development of new energy vehicles, while also saying that Geely hoped to reduce some of the production costs for Volvo, in addition to expanding the Volvo brand into the Chinese market.