It's Official: Ford Aims to Sell Volvo by the End of the Year and Not to Volvo

Thor Johnsen
by Thor Johnsen

In an interview with Bloomberg, Ford’s European CEO, John Fleming, said that The Blue Oval Boyz aim to sell their Volvo-shaped money pit by the end of this year. More importantly, they have no intentions in keeping any remaining stake in their money-losing Swedish subdivision: “it has not even been considered.” Fleming also confirmed that Ford’s negotiating with “a number of parties” about the sale. Need they mention any names? Ford is looking for $2 billion for the moribund brand—less then a third of what The Glass House Gang paid for Volvo way back in 1999. Not to mention billions more spent in a hugely unsuccessful attempt to take the brand up market. “It’s not the global economic downfall that has sparked the decision to sell Volvo,” Fleming said, without dwelling on Ford’s patently inglorious management. “We’ve been in a process of separating Volvo and Ford for a year already.”

Meanwhile, the Swedish press reports that former parent company Volvo AB has dismissed rumors that they have any interest in participating in a deal to buy Volvo’s passenger car division.

That said, Volvo AB owns 50 percent of the copyright to the Volvo name; they’re only interested in protecting their good name (no Chinese takeaway for you kamrat). “It is only natural that the interested buyers contact us in this regard,” says Mårten Wikforss, chief of press at Volvo AB to Swedish newsaggency TT.

Meanwhile, hard times in the truck world. reports that Volvo AB has reported a 54 percent reduced turnover in their truck and heavy goods vehicle (HGV) sales, comparing July this year to July 2008.

There might be a connection there . . . .

Thor Johnsen
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  • PaulieWalnut PaulieWalnut on Aug 27, 2009

    Volvo can be sold for 2 billion. Lincoln would cost money to get rid of.

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Aug 27, 2009

    What we're missing here is that Volvos actually sold pretty well until the last couple of years; the decline is actually pretty recent. They made two critical boo-boos: 1) Holding on to models too long. The last-gen S80 actually sold well for quite a few years, but they didn't so much as facelift it for like nine years, so the last couple years of its run found it a dead model walking. Same for the S60. Then, when they introduced the redesigned S80, it has all the personality of an ATM machine - a total yawn and a bomb. At least the previous-gen S80 and S60 had personality. And now they're running the XC90 into the ground. Don't even get me started on the boxy old RWD models. 2) Safety became a given in even the cheapest cars, taking away their one traditional selling point in the marketplace, and Volvo couldn't find anything to replace it with. Sad...but that's how the cookie crumbles.

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Aug 27, 2009
    P71_CrownVic : August 27th, 2009 at 8:46 am Ford should have kept Volvo and dumped Lincoln. Despite it’s neglected state, Volvo has not been ruined by Ford like Lincoln has. Volvo, in most circles, is still considered a legit. luxury brand. Lincoln just competes with Buick. I the solution for an American car company is to make a cult Swedish brand its' luxury nameplate?
  • FreedMike FreedMike on Aug 27, 2009
    jerry weber : August 27th, 2009 at 12:01 pm Yes lincoln is renewed. You can buy a Taurus or a lincoln M something or other. You will be told that the V6’s with turbos can perform with the old v8’s. What you won’t be told is that the new Msomething or other and the Tarurus weigh about 4300 pounds right where the frame on body v8 town car is. Some early road tests on the Taurus SHO (which compares with the lincoln,) 16MPG is what the thing averaged. Would the town car be worse? It is not enough to redo a car you have to take it to the next level with efficiency and performance. Car and Driver recently did a test of $50,000 luxury sedans, and if you look at the results, a MKS turbo would have done quite well, at least from a numbers standpoint. In this class of car (midsize luxury), a curb weight of 4300 lb isn't ridiculous at all, particularly for a car with AWD. Take a look at this chart and tell me the MKS' weight is out of line for this class: Based on the same test, 16 mpg for a car with the kind of performance envelope the MKS has is also completely reasonable - With 355 hp available, I have no doubt that a MKS turbo would have been EXTREMELY competitive performance-wise in this group - a 0-60 time in the low-to-mid 5 second range puts this car in some very good company. And at $55 grand, it'd have been the cheapest car in this test. Now, I doubt that the MKS would really be cross-shopped with BMW, but if it can compete numbers-wise with some of the best cars in the world, that would bode well.