Volvo Workers Tell Ford to Piss Off

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
volvo workers tell ford to piss off

In general, the Swedes are a polite, hospitable people. But doing business with Detroit is enough to test even the patience of a people who discovered good manners on a pillaging run back in 795 C.E. Automotive News [sub] has a lengthy feature on Sweden’s auto business, focusing on the deep disappointment locals feel with Ford’s management of Volvo. One worker says the mood in Volvo’s Swedish assembly plants is “depressed;” people are ready for a little change they can believe in (TM). “People just want Ford to go,” he said. “Ford is not making that much money, and neither is Volvo. Ford needs the money, so everyone expects Ford to sell.” “Ford has not been a good owner,” opines another assembly worker. “I think another owner would be better.” The locals say that whomever ends up holding Volvo ownership, they must keep Volvo’s inherent “Swedishness.” )Husker Du?) “Volvo is very much based on Swedish culture, and that would make it almost impossible to move it to China or somewhere else,” says a local chamber of commerce type. Volvo is crucial to the local economy, and Ford’s plans to bring Volvo downmarke t betrays Dearborn’s lack of faith in the brand’s core values. Whether it stays with Ford or moves on, Volvo- and it’s Swedish workforce- are at the mercy of the market. And you thought Michigan was the only locality that stands to lose big from the decline of The Big 2.8.

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  • Shaker Shaker on Sep 10, 2008

    To keep Volvo competitive, affordable and high quality, they could be sold partially built in a crate with a set of wrenches needed to complete the assembly... :-) What ever happened to the "durable" Volvo? It was a major selling point, no doubt diluted by Ford's "genes".

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Sep 10, 2008
    What ever happened to the “durable” Volvo? It was a major selling point, no doubt diluted by Ford’s “genes”. Volvos were never really durable in the sense that Toyotas were. Gearheads have a different definition of "durable" that's based on theory and engineering, rather than end-user costs. They had potentially-million-mile engines, true, but they were still comparatively expensive to keep up for the "normal", end-user lifetime of the car. Of course, that's before they started chasing the Germans. Once they went down that road, the electronic gremlins got worse and the million-mile engine became a moot point: no one cared that the block could survive a trip around the world six times when the accessories or electronics would render the car useless long before that.

  • Guyincognito Guyincognito on Sep 10, 2008

    Ahem, as has been said, Volvo should be thanking their lucky stars that GM wasn't their American overlord. I think Ford did a good job with Volvo and was extremely hands off for a coporate "partner". In fact, Ford copied more from Volvo than they changed. The fact of the matter is that Volvo lost its key selling point, safety. Now that all vehicles are safe Volvo needs to re-define the brand. Ford doesn't have the money or time for that so I see Volvo getting their wish. Wether Volvo will exist after that is another issue.

  • Capeplates Capeplates on Sep 12, 2008

    How to kill off foreign competition - buy them out, run them into the ground and then sell at a loss and absorb it. Ford cant manage themselves so how did they expect to manage a profitable company