By on September 18, 2008

So far, just a blurbette. “Reuters reported that Ford Motor Company has had exploratory talks with Renault SA to sell Volvo, but the initial talks broke down due to price differences. The two parties have spoken again after their initial discussions, which were held last fall.” So that’s why Ford CEO Alan Mulally was telling the world that Volvo wasn’t for sale back in November: he couldn’t sell it. So I guess Volvo still isn’t for sale– unless someone like Renault wants to buy it. Makes sense to me. Just for fun, here’s Edmunds’ take at the time. “What this means to you: Despite ongoing financial uncertainties, Ford does not appear willing to give up all of its “halo” brands just yet. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent” TTAC’s take: say halo to my little friend!

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17 Comments on “Ford Trying to Sell Volvo to Renault. Again. Still....”

  • avatar

    Okay, cool, I hope this goes through.

  • avatar

    I think Ford is better off killing Mercury than selling Volvo. At least Ford has not butchered Volvo like GM did with SAAB. There seems to be a genuine future for the brand. Additionally Ford sure loves using Volvo platforms, and they have been able to make the cars distinctively different.

    With that said… the new S80 is a disappointment in its segment. To soft and expensive for what it is. Great interior though.

  • avatar

    I’d rather Ford keep Volvo. However, I’d rather see the French takeover Volvo than an Asian company. The French have had experience with Volvo and would truly return the company back to where it should be…mainly so it doesn’t compete with Renault.

    However, I do not relish the thought of Volvo sharing parts with Nissan (and then maybe Chrysler).

  • avatar

    Actually, Renault-Nissan-Infiniti-Volov could make quite a bit of sense.

    Renault/Nissan for economy, in different markets
    Volvo for soft and safe luxury (a la lexus), in Europe and US. And Infiniti for sporty luxury (a la BMW).

  • avatar

    It makes less sense than the Ford-Mazda-Volvo setup right now.

    Volvo used to not be soft and luxury. They were a mid-level car that was affordable to the middle class…something that the mid and upper range of Renault already reaches. Renault has always had a safety campaign, who will be marketed as the safety champion within the company? But like I said before, due to previous car (and large commercial truck) dealings…Renault would be the best fit for Volvo.

    Right now, Infiniti is just starting to be marketed in Europe. That’ll may take a small bite out of Volvo’s market as well.

    I guess being realistic, Nissan is no worse than Ford/Mazda when it comes to quality and reliability…oh I hate being honest with myself.

  • avatar

    carguy622 :
    September 18th, 2008 at 11:03 am

    I think Ford is better off killing Mercury than selling Volvo.

    See my post in the Pontiac G3 thread for the reasons why Ford can’t kill Mercury. If they kill Mercury, Lincoln dies too, since all Lincoln dealers are also Mercury dealers and they can’t all afford a 50% sales drop, plus since all Mercuries (and Lincolns, for that matter) are clones of Fords, the factories that make all three would become unprofitable due to the drop in sales, plus the billions in dealer payoffs.

    Volvo is a seperate entity, and therefore can be sold off fairly easy. No combo dealers, no shared factories (although there is shared tech of course).

  • avatar

    Stick Lincoln dealers in with a Ford dealer…some of the big Ford dealers are F-M-L, such as the Lithia chain. Or maybe Lincoln and Volvo… I’d like to see how well either the MKS or S80 would do being cross-shopped. Sadly, neither would be purchased by most people.

  • avatar

    Volvo = heavy, low-tech engine, poor mpg’s, nice seats, safety

    Ford = nice interiors, low-tech engine, avg mpg’s, fair durability

    If Ford got their engine act together they could improve not only Ford, but Volvo as well. That is, you could have a I-4 base engine in your Focus with a turbo option. The Volvo would get the same I-4 but with direct injection and then the optional turbo.

    The way things are now, Ford’s weakness has spilled over to become Volvo’s weakness. Volvo’s safety strength has started to become Ford’s strength, which is good. Too bad about the weight penalty required for the extra safety ‘stars.’

  • avatar

    Renault has a luxury brand that, thanks to Ford’s mismanagement, is more prestigious than Volvo. It’s called Infiniti, and has a growing presence in Europe.

    Right now in Europe they have Nissan<Renault<Infiniti, and in the US they have Nissan<Infiniti.

    The don’t need anything else.

    I can’t think of anyone who would be wise to buy Volvo.

  • avatar

    Volvo has never been or was supposed to be a prestigous or luxury brand! Northeastern yuppies made it seem so, only because they could afford a 700-series and have cash leftover or buy a 200-series for the same price as an American mid-size car. But they’ve become priced in such a manner.

    The closest it has ever gotten to luxury is the S80 and XC90. They used to be not very heavy either, and I do agree that the I-5 has lived it’s life.

  • avatar

    TEXN3 :
    September 18th, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Stick Lincoln dealers in with a Ford dealer…some of the big Ford dealers are F-M-L, such as the Lithia chain. Or maybe Lincoln and Volvo… I’d like to see how well either the MKS or S80 would do being cross-shopped. Sadly, neither would be purchased by most people.

    There are plenty of areas where the Lincoln-Mercury dealer is owned by somebody other than the owner of the local Ford dealer. If Mercury goes away, Lincoln goes away as well-trust me. Some people only buy a certain saleman or dealer-those bonds would be broken.

    Ford can’t shut down Mercury-it would lose them more money than it would save. They can, however, sell Volvo.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Renault would probably make more sense as Volvo’s owner than Ford does. Volvo and Renault have a long history of deals and joint ventures involving truck and engines which predate the Ford/Volvo marriage. Hopefully the “PRV” V-6 engine will not come back from the dead though :).

  • avatar

    Am I the only one who can’t stand Edmunds’ incredibly inane “What this means to you” wrap-ups at the conclusion of each article? Do we really need a synopsis whenever, for instance, a manufacturer releases photos of a new model? And why do I need Edmunds to spell out what some news item “means to me”? Can I not draw my own conclusions?

    I really hate that site sometimes…

  • avatar

    You’re probably right Geotpf. In the markets I’ve lived in, at least one L-M franchise was part of the larger F franchise. (This includes but not limited to Houston, San Antonio, Tulsa, Boise, SLC, Baton Rouge, Phoenix, etc). Plus there would be a major savings to having all the service rolled into one.

    The B27/PRV/Douvrin engine made no sense…especially compared to the better performing B230FT.

  • avatar

    Volvo’s a halo brand?! Now that’s sad IMO.

  • avatar

    I’ve said all along that this is one of the few affairs that actually make sense. A tripartite discussion between Ford/Volvo Cars, Renault/Nissan and independent Volvo Trucks. Ford sells Volvo Cars to Renault and Renault sells its truck division to Volvo Trucks. It’s a win-win for all three parties. Ford gets some cash, Renault gets their long awaited Volvo brand, and Volvo Trucks can concentrate on being the largest manufacturer of trucks in the world. Last time I checked, Volvo Trucks had quite a big war chest, as the truck division always was the earning part when they made cars. After they sold the car division they were flowing with cash. I don’t know how the situation is now, but it would hardly be any different.

    The ties between Volvo and Renault goes back some 35 years at least, when Volvo aquired the dutch car manufacturer DAF, and licensed Renault engines to equip the cars. They have been using Renault engines for their smaller cars up until the first gen S40, whitch was a JV with Mitsubishi.

  • avatar

    I saw a C30 yesterday. Nice. Very interesting looks. Volvo needs more of this, rather than chasing the BMW-Audi crowd, which is not working anyway.

    Volvo needs to stand out from the pack. The old, drawn-with-a-ruler styling was part of it, though of course no one’s going to go back. Boxes aren’t aerodynamic.

    Keep pushing the safety of the cars –that’s expected of Volvo– but the pricing needs to come down. If Sweden is too expensive re: exchange rate, I think it’s pretty safe to say Ford has A LOT of spare U.S. plant capacity.

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