California Autos Examiner

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Swedes Don't See Ford in Their Future

With sales down and losses up, Volvo employees are looking for a savior. Many workers feel that Ford ownership is no longer in the best interest of the company because Ford is hemorrhaging cash and battling a tough market at home, so it doesn't have the resources or inclination to help Volvo out of its own slump (their opinion, not necessarily fact). Basically, Volvo employees was a "sugar daddy" who will shower money upon the company so that it can invest in new products.

So what are the chances that Volvo will be sold off? Well, there have been many rumors about Ford shopping the Swedish brand, but to date nothing has ever come of it. My own analysis would be that a Chinese manufacturer would benefit the most from Volvo's safety heritage, but really any upstart would get a boost in reputation and an established dealer body. However, would a new owner truly be in the best interest of these disaffected employees? I'm not so sure about that one at all. I worry that a new owner would, over time, start to develop and manufacture Volvos in lower cost labor markets.

If a deal is ever going to happen, then buyers will have to come to Ford with suitcases of money. Given recent airline restrictions on luggage, that might be a problem :-) Personally I'd rate the chances that Ford will sell Volvo in the next 12 months at 50/50.

source: automotive news

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