They're Baaaaaaack: Changan Covets Volvo, Again

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
they re baaaaaaack changan covets volvo again

Words of wisdom spoken on the eve of the Shanghai Auto Show: “The longer the crisis lasts, the bigger the chance of failure or a scale-down of some American and European automakers.” Words of wisdom from Xu Liuping, Chairman of Chongqing Changan Auto Co. on the sidelines of a news conference. “And that has provided a chance for entry by Chinese manufacturers.” The Chairman politely omitted to add “for pennies on the dollar,” but why stress the obvious. And guess who the Chairman’s company is coveting? “Changan, Ford Motor’s China partner, is among several Chinese auto makers that have expressed interest in the Volvo car brand, which the Detroit automaker is seeking to sell in an effort to raise cash,” writes Reuters. “Asked about progress on a possible Volvo deal, Xu declined to comment, citing disclosure rules mandated by the Chinese securities regulator.” Changan? Doesn’t that ring a (wedding) bell?

Yes, it’s the very same Changan that had been fingered by TTAC as a suitor for Volvo in December. Yes, it’s the same Changan that a day later denied that there’s anything to that story at all. Yes, it’s the same Changan for which snapping up a distressed Volvo makes the most sense.

Quite possibly, Changan is the only auto company in the universe for which buying Volvo makes any sense at all: Changan is Volvo’s joint venture partner in China. Changan builds Volvos for the Chinese market. Changan could immediately turn around and sell Volvos all over the world. Their current joint venture contract prohibits exportation, but once they own Volvo all doors are wide open.

And, yes, it’s the same Changan that said in February it had signed a framework agreement with Autopark Mexico to start making cars in Mexico next year with an initial capacity of 50,000 units. Chairman Xu said Changan could sell cars to North America. From Mexico.

They would probably sell better with a Volvo nameplate and Volvo technology and existing Volvo homologation through an existing Volvo dealer network. What did we say when we announced the Chinese/Mexican tie-up last February? “Could come in handy for Changan’s bid for Volvo.”

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2 of 7 comments
  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Apr 19, 2009

    @menno: Made-in-China (by Changan) Volvos here:

  • MOT-Failure MOT-Failure on Apr 21, 2009

    Bertel, thanks for the weblink to the Chinese made Volvos. Slightly strange to see a LWB S80, a slight throwback to the specially-made extended Volvo limos (740, 960, S90) of the 80s and 90s, as often seen in funeral processions... Still hoping that the Swedish government steps in and keeps the brand local, though I don't hold out much hope considering the folks in Stockholm have turned a blind eye to Saab.

  • BEPLA I can make a guess why this car is in the junkyard:A severe lack of maintenance, causing catastrophic system failure - most likely the engine locked up from a lack of oil changes.
  • Vvk The expansion of Tesla Supercharger network has been astonishing. They are popping up everywhere. Still nowhere near enough at busy spots especially in densely populated areas like NJ and California.
  • Kwik_Shift Equus paved the way for Genesis luxury
  • SCE to AUX "...memories of those shoddy Excels faded."Not really, since such comments appear in nearly every article about H/K cars.As for this one, who knows... maybe the 2nd owner ran it 40k miles without an oil change and destroyed the engine, then balked at the $10k replacement cost.
  • ToolGuy Last ad: Is that The Dude doing the voiceover at the end? 😉