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Volvo‘s Chief Executive, Stefan Jacoby, has said that the company plans to add some 10,000 additional employees to the workforce in the next decade; currently Volvo employs some 25,000 people worldwide.
Perhaps not surprisingly the vast majority of new positions will be in China, where Volvo plans to reach annual sales targets of some 200,000 units by 2020 (current levels are around 48,000 per annum).
In order to handle the projected growth, Volvo is planning to open up a manufacturing facility in Chengdu in 2013, which will boast some 3,000 employees and a maximum capacity of some 150,000 vehicles per year; a second plant is also planned, pending approval from the Chinese government.
According to Jacoby, despite the current economic crisis in Europe, Volvo hasn’t reported a slowdown because of it, since its biggest markets are Scandinavia and Germany where demand is steady and sales in southern Europe have always been marginal. “Our [order] books are filled up until spring 2012,” Jacoby said in a recent statement.
[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.
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: