For Sale: One Slightly Abused Swedish Car Brand
The Wall Street Journal [sub] reports Volvo's saying farväl to a third of the production workers at their last remaining Swedish factory. (The Belgian factory which makes Volvo's smaller vehicles is so far exempt from the cutbacks.) And no wonder. "Despite expansion in Russia and China, Volvo reported selling 22,000 fewer vehicles during the first quarter of this year compared with the same period a year ago." And there there's a sales mix shift to smaller, cheaper, less profitable vehicles and the weak U.S. dollar. It all adds up to a loss of "$151 million in the first quarter of this year, compared with a $94 million profit during the same quarter in 2007." Both are mouse nuts numbers in the Ford scheme of things, but Investor Kirk "The Lion of Las Vegas" Kerkorian's minion Jerome York recently opined that FoMoCo will probably jettison Volvo within 18 months. Ford says Volvo isn't for sale, forgetting to add "we constantly review the situation." Translation: yet.
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