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Geely will make their first foray into the notoriously tough British market in 2012, hoping to emulate the success of Korean brands like Hyundai.
While Geely already helps produce the iconic London taxis, the company will face an uphill battle regarding the vehicle’s perceived quality. Their first UK offering, the EC7 compact car, will cost 10,000 GBP (roughly $15,581 USD) and feature a five-year, 100,000 mile warranty.
Geely is looking to recruit 30 to 40 dealers and sell about 1,000 cars in 2013, with a new model added for the next 4 to 5 years. Geely will be based out of Coventry, where the office of Manganese Bronze Holdings’ London Taxi Company (its partner in London Taxi production) resides, but Geely will remain separate from its subsidiary Volvo Cars.
[Source: Automotive News]
A few years ago, a Chinese car company by the name Geely bought the Swedish luxury car brand Volvo.
As part of Geely’s plan to move the Volvo brand forward, they hired famed car designer Peter Horbury to look after the design direction of this luxury car brand.
Horbury, who hails from Britain, was no stranger at Volvo, having first worked with the brand from 1991 to 2002. So hiring him to look after Volvo’s future was an easy decision for Geely.
But as of today, Horbury has been appointed the role of ‘design chief’ for Geely automobiles.
On this occasion, the Chairman of Geely Group, Said Li Shufu said; “I am delighted that Peter Horbury has accepted the offer to lead the design development of the Geely Group brands into the future. His vast experience in the industry will be key for the future success of Geely Group’s products.”
Hopefully Geely will finally have some…ahem, “original” designs for a change.
There’s something really Chinese about the Volvo Concept You but I just can’t quite put my finger on it. And I’m actually Chinese.
That there is an oriental feel shouldn’t be a surprise. The Concept You is an evolution of the Concept Universe revealed earlier this year at Auto Shanghai earlier this year. Volvo sought the input of a number of potential Chinese customers at the Shanghai show, and a lot of those ideas were carried over into the You.
Volvo is, of course, now part of China’s Zheijiang Geely Motor Holdings, and part of the company’s focus is on capitalizing on the emerging luxury car market in the world’s most populous country.
Saab‘s days as an automaker might not yet be numbered. According to a recent report a Chinese automaker may be interested in purchasing the bankrupt automaker. “I’ve heard this one before,” you’re probably thinking to yourself. But this time it’s different…. we promise.
According to Sweden’s Dagens Industry, the interested Chinese suitor is none other than Geely, the very company that successfully bid for and took control of Saab’s Swedish big brother, Volvo. With the resources necessary to complete the transaction Geely has already proven it can navigate the tricky regulations process that has prevented several others from successfully backing Saab.
Recently Saab applied for creditor protection in order to reorganize the company. That move was, however, rejected by the Swedish courts, signifying that Saab may be headed for liquidation.
The truth is, it’s been languishing in the middle for far too long, and the boss of Geely Automobiles, Li Shufu, has been wanting to take the brand upscale ever since his Chinese company acquired this most Swedish of brands.
Now it seems he will finally get his way. While Volvo bosses have resisted to go upmarket in the past, Shufu has influenced them to have a rethink, primarily after showing them sales figures in China. While models like the XC60 and the China-special long-wheelbase S80 are flourishing, sales of its smaller cars like the S40 have been very low.
This indicates that in an emerging and growing market like China, Volvo can do better as a luxury brand rather than a mid-field brand.
Shufu, who described Volvo as “a trapped tiger,” wants to compete with the likes of the A8 and 7-series with a full-size luxury car. What will the new model be called and when will it be out is not yet known, but we look forward to seeing what they will come up with next.
[Source: Automotive News]
Volvo’s corporate overlords Geely will open a second plant in China, citing that Chinese production is a key factor in the Swedish company’s growth.
The current Chinese plant is located in Daqing, an oil-rich region in northeast China that provided Geely with a majority of the $2.7 billion needed to buy Volvo from Ford. Now, Geely is seeking to open a plant in Chengdu, in the center of China—a decision that has been approved by the Chinese government.
Volvo has a research and development center in Shanghai, rounding out its Chinese connections. In addition, Geely chairman Li Shufu suggests a closer connection to Sweden: “Daqing and Gothenburg are located more or less at the same latitude, so they share the same weather and temperatures, and air quality is also very good in Daqing,” he said. “Swedish people would very much like this place.”
[Source: Left Lane News]
Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group spent $1.7 billion last year to acquire Volvo from Ford Motor Co.,and now plans to spend as much as $11 billion on Volvo products and facilities over the next five years.
Doug Speck, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, says a growth strategy for the United States will be completed by the end of next month. He explains that the plan will call for new vehicles and possibly an American plant.
Speck expects 60,000 to 70,000 cars. He explains there is some uncertainty related to what the effect of the Japanese disaster will be in terms of production. Speck also explained that 2011 sales will be predominantly driven by the S60. Speck said, “We could easily see ourselves selling 15,000 to 20,000 S60s this year — a huge increment year-on-year from that car line”.
[Source: Automotive News]
In his first press conference as the newly appointed CEO of Volvo, Stefan Jacoby gave a vague outline of where he intends to take the company. Top on Jacoby’s list are improving Volvo’s emotional appeal and looking for ways to work with suppliers and other automakers in the industry.
Jacoby joins Volvo after heading-up VW’s North American division, looking to steer the Swedish automaker to profit under the new ownership of China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., after several years of consecutive losses under Ford.
“Volvo stands for safety, solidity and reliability but the emotional positioning of the brand is not sharp enough,” said Jacoby in a press conference Wednesday. No details of how Volvo would create more emotion were given, but over the past few years Volvo has made a push to be more innovative in its designs. Rumors point towards a new flagship luxury sedan to compete with the BMW 7 Series. Other possibilities include going the sports car route.
Making partnerships in the industry will also be a part of Volvo’s mandate, as the ability for smaller automakers like Volvo to compete on a larger scale is becoming increasingly difficult. Jacoby highlighted the company’s small size as a benefit, saying that because it’s nimble it can act quickly. He also said Volvo would look to partner with other automakers on projects and find economies of scale in the process.
The larger plan for Volvo, as laid out by Geely, will see the Swedish automaker double production thanks to a plan in China, while its operations in Europe will continue serving the rest of the global marketplace.
Last year Volvo moved 334,808, down from an all-time high of 458,323 units in 2007. Jacoby did say that while Volvo hasn’t turned a profit since 2005, it was profitable in the last two quarters under Ford.
[Source: Automotive News]
With ownership of Volvo now having officially changed hands from Ford to Geely, the Swedish automaker will look to develop a plan for profitability and growth. And while it’s domestic rival Saab is looking down market, Volvo will reportedly head in the opposite direction, instead planning a new flagship model that would compete directly with the likes of the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class.
At a press conference following Geely’s takeover of Volvo, company boss Li Shufu actually said as much, stating that he wants Volvo to make “high level cars that compete with the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-series”. Shufu also said that Volvo has the technology and resources to make this plan a reality.
Not only would a model in this range command higher prices, but it would also create higher profit margins. But without sharing a platform with another model the expensive R&D involved could make seeing a profit with a flagship Volvo difficult. That is, unless Volvo can manage to sell a significant number of the cars. And while high sales volumes have never been part of Volvo in the past, it’s ownership by the Chinese (now the world’s largest auto market) could change that.
Geely has officially purchased Volvo, the iconic Swedish automaker, from Ford, in a rumored $1.8 billion transaction. As part of the deal, Ford will continue to supply powertrains and other components for an unspecified amount of time, while both companies have mutually agreed to safeguard each other’s intellectual property.
Stefan Jacoby, formerly head of Volkswagen North America, will take over as CEO,while Volvo will retain their Swedish headquarters. Volvo is set to launch their new S60 sedan later this year, perhaps the last product developed under the auspices of Ford. Geely has confirmed that a new Chinese assembly plant will be constructed for Volvo as well.
[Source: Top Speed]
China’s Ministry of Commerce and its National Development and Reform Commission has signed off on a deal that will let Chinese carmaker Geely to purchase Volvo from Ford for $1.8 billion.
“We have received all approvals required from the central government,” Ning Shuyong a spokesman from Geely, told Reuters. “We are currently working on closing the deal.” China’s tight state control of the economy means that government approval is essential for any deals of this nature.
Geely is expected to help double Volvo’s output by investing in a new Chinese factory to produce cars under the Swedish nameplate. Geely is said to be willing to spend another $900 million to ensure that Volvo stays competitive. Currently, Volvo assembles the S40 and S80 sedans at the Ford-Chongqing Changan Automobile, but will likely have to move production due to the sale.
China’s Geely is planning on moving 150,000 Volvos in China by 2015, a prediction that could very well come true in the world’s largest car market.
According to reports, Geely will manufacture the Volvo XC60 and S60 in China by 2011, while discontinuing production the S40 compact sedan at its Chinese factories. Geely will establish an all-new plant to help meet its sales targets, but the company has yet to announce a location for the factory. Geely purchased Volvo for $1.8 billion in March, making it the largest automotive acquisition by a Chinese company.
Ford Motor Co. has announced it has reached a final agreement to sell its Swedish Volvo brand to China’s Geely Holding Group. The sale price is set at $1.8 billion, a fraction of the $6.5 billion Ford paid to buy Volvo back in 1999. The sale of the Volvo brand completes Ford’s corporate strategy to sell-off all its luxurious European brands. In 2008 Ford sold the Jaguar and Land Rover brands to India’s Tata Motors for $2.3 billion, while in 2007 the divestiture began with the sale of Aston Martin for just under one billion. These strategic moves are partially to credit for Ford’s ability to stave off bankruptcy during the recent recession.
“Volvo is a great brand with an excellent product lineup. This agreement provides a solid foundation for Volvo to continue to build its business under Geely’s ownership,” said Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally. “At the same time, the sale of Volvo will allow us to further sharpen our focus on building the Ford brand around the world and continue to deliver on our One Ford plan serving our customers with the very best cars and trucks in the world.”
Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Company Limited, commented in a statement that, “Zhejiang Geely would like to pay tribute to Ford’s stewardship of the Volvo brand, and we look forward to continued cooperation as Volvo embarks on the next stage of its evolution with Geely.”
For its part Ford will continue to provide Volvo with certain components (including powertrains) for a limited time, although it will retain no part of the Volvo Cars company. Ford has also agreed to provide support in the form of engineering, tooling and information technology. Both Ford and Volvo have agreed to certain rules regarding intellectual property. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
“The Volvo management team fully endorses Ford’s sale of Volvo Cars to Geely. said Stephen Odell, CEO of Volvo Cars. “We believe this is the right outcome for the business, and will provide Volvo Cars with the necessary resources, including the capital investment, to strengthen the business and to continue to move it forward in the future.”
Official release after the jump:
Sale of Ford's last European brand rumored to be for $1.8 billion
According to a recent report, Ford’s sale of Volvo to Chinese automaker Geely could go through as early as February 8th. Ford and Geely have already announced they are working out details of a plan with the latest rumor indicating that the sale could be for as little as $1.6 billion, with a $1.8 billion asking price more likely.
Ford purchased Swedish automaker Volvo back in 1999 for a staggering $6.45 billion, as it looked to create a European luxury division – which also included Aston Martin, Land Rover and Jaguar. A new corporate strategy has seen Ford sell off all but Volvo, a move which has been slowed by the recent economic downturn.
By offloading Volvo, Ford looks to loose almost $5 billion in a decade as it pursues a more focused brand strategy. By offloading its European brands Ford was able to steer clear of bankruptcy court, a move than has instilled consumer confidence in the brand and seen its sales surge while other automakers watched their sales decline.
Ford Motor Co. and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely) have reached a general agreement on the terms of a sale that would see Ford’s loss making Volvo unit sold to the Chinese automaker. An initial agreement is set to be signed in the first quarter of 2010, with the transaction complete in Q2.
Ford said in a statement that the sale, “would ensure Volvo has the resources, including the capital investment, necessary to further strengthen the business and build its global franchise, while enabling Ford to continue to focus on and implement its core ONE Ford strategy.”
While a general agreement has been reached, some details still need to be worked out and Geely is still working to secure funding from the Chinese government. Ford has said that it does not intend to keep a stake in Volvo once the sale is completed.
The sale of Volvo would mean the complete dismantling of Ford’s premium group of automaker, which at once point also included Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover. It is thought that the sale of those entities helped Ford avoid filing for bankruptcy protection.
Meanwhile, rival American automaker General Motors has had far less luck in selling off its brands, with sales of both Hummer and Saab pending (but constantly in doubt), while the domestic Saturn brand is now scheduled to be eliminated after a deal to sell it to the Penske Automotive Group fell through.
[Source: Automotive News]