Ford To Volvo: You're On Your Own
Reuters reports that Ford is developing a new business plan for Volvo, which would [s]require[/s] allow the Swedish subsidiary to operate on a more independent basis. Citing slides posted to the company's website– which will accompany a presentation to analysts at the Geneva Auto Show– the report indicates that Volvo's return to "sustainable profits" is "the top priority." Not a bad plan, considering the persistent rumors that Ford had shopped Volvo around without garnering a single serious purchase offer. Whether the "appropriate business arrangements" can really improve Volvo's lousy recent performance remain to be seen… especially if this moves turns out to be some kind of accounting shell game. Jaguar and Landie sale in trouble. Volvo hung out to dry. Will no one relieve me of these brands?
umterp85, Well, I'm not going to troll around the site looking up quotes but it seems to me there's been no complaining about Ford "leveraging its assets" between Mazda, Volvo and Ford. The variious platforms under the various cousins are doing a good job. The problem I recollect hearing is too much overlap. I'm not sure I entirely agree but that's the charge I recall. And then there's too much badge engineering within the traditional Ford/Lincoln/Mercury brands. The MKZ/Fusion/Milan are a nice car. That's A nice car. The three flavors business is overkill. The cars are practically identical. Not quite as identical as, say, a '99 Cutlass and a '99 Malibu but still too damned close.
ford`s car line up: Focus- 50% japanese mazda/50 % german engineered. Mustang- American. Fusion -mazda6 based taurus -mazda6 based. taurus x - mazda6 based. Edge-mazda6 based.
Its not badge engineering, people! Hello? How many of you have worked engineering Mazda or Volvo platforms for Ford cars? Show of hands? Okay. So, here's the deal. Taurus X/Taurus/Sable/MKS are all built from the Volvo "D" platform. It's called a platform because it's just that -- a starting point. Every vehicle is unique (except the Sable, which is mostly the same at the Taurus, It's a Mercury after all and Mercury is as Ford does) Fusion/MKZ/Milan/Edge are based on the CD3 platform (BTW, all of this information is available on wikipedia.com and is fairly reliable.) Again, it's just a platform -- the engineering is unique for each vehicle.
Volvo needs to be a Swedish company with a Swedish point of view on what makes a great automobile. The Ford years have not been good for the brand. In Volvo's heyday they sold extremely sturdy, efficient, safe cars priced at about what a mid-range Buick was selling for. It was an alternative car for people who thought differently about their automotive purchases. Now Volvo means exactly what? The safety angle is old because everyone is using it. Modern Volvos are no where near as tank-like in build quality as the 240 and earlier cars were. The next time you come across a 240 check out how hefty the body panel metal is. Volvos used to be an engineer's car, now they are just trying to be hip and trendy like all the other wannabes. Volvo should have built the ultimate family minivan 15 years ago ... but no, they built the stupid C70 pseudo-sport-coupe instead. Idiots. The last thing the world needed was another V-8 powered SUV ugly box, but that is where Volvo invested it's money. Chasing money without any real core principles ALWAYS leads to long term disaster. Just ask GM.