By on January 13, 2010

Soon as a Chinese Volvo S40? Picture courtesy cochesalaventa.com

“Ford is trying to get the deal done with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group within the next several weeks,” a Ford spokesman said to Dow Jones Newswire. Ford is sticking with Geely, and is pouring cold water on rumors that Ford is entertaining other bids and bidders.

Sweden’s Dagens Industri had reported on Tuesday that Volvo’s CEO Stephen Odell had intimated that “Ford is open to talk with others. Those who say that the door is shut can go to Ford and talk with them whenever they like.” Looks like it’s wishful thinking. Sure, anybody can talk to Ford (if their call is taken.) But they will receive only one answer: “No.”

Ford executives, including Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth, stressed that Ford has already spent a “considerable amount of time” working with Geely to make sure that Ford’s intellectual property is protected. And they don’t want to go through the whole ordeal again.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that Ford is close to an agreement to preserve trade secrets when Volvo is sold to Geely. “Almost all the outstanding issues have been resolved,” said Tim Burt, a Geely spokesman. “Geely will gain access to all technology throughout the current model range and for those already in development.”

Some technology will be held back, namely new environmental and safety gear.

Ford isn’t just interested to offload Volvo. Ford plans to sell engines to Volvo for as long as a decade, a profitable venture. Ford CFO Lewis Booth underlined their long term goals:

“We want to make sure that if we sell the business, we sell it as a going concern. We need to ensure they have technological support until they can develop it themselves or find it from someone else.”

Ford not only needs Volvo as a customer, they also need them as a supplier. Ford needs Volvo to stay healthy as a supplier of diesel engines for vehicles built in Europe, Booth said. And there could be more commonalities.

Ford’s product development chief Derrick Kuzak, wouldn’t comment when he was asked whether the new Focus introduced at NAIAS would also share the platform with future Volvos. Volvo’s current S40 shares some of the mechanics of the Focus MK 2. The new S40 was scheduled to be based on the platform of the just released Focus MK 3.

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10 Comments on “Ford Sticks With Geely On Volvo Deal. Needs Volvo As Customer And Supplier...”


  • avatar
    colin42

    Ford not only needs Volvo as a customer, they also need them as a supplier. Ford needs Volvo to stay healthy as a supplier of diesel engines for vehicles built in Europe

    Some please correct me if I’m wrong, but the only diesel Volvo make is the 2.4 5 inline 5 cylinder and this is not used outside of Volvo. All the other diesels Volvo used are sourced from Ford or PSA.

    However the Gasoline 2.5 inline 5 cylinder is used by Ford i.e. Focus ST / RS, S-Max etc

  • avatar
    Disaster

    It will be tricky.  Ford selected the Volvo platforms for many of their current vehicles…for example the Taurus is based on the S80.   One has to wonder how this will effect both companies future development. Could there be future part supply issues?….quality issues?

  • avatar
    BMWnut

    Ford executives stressed that Ford has already spent a “considerable amount of time” working with Geely to make sure that Ford’s intellectual property is protected.
    Hmmm, the Chinese are notorious for not respecting intellectual property. Can Geely really be trusted not to reverse engineer engine management software etc. for use in their other products?

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      … or just sell off current Volvo platforms/designs to other companies willy-nilly.  Trusting a Chinese company with your IP is like trusting a convicted burglar with your house keys.

  • avatar
    Kristjan Ambroz

    Colin42, you just beat me to it :)
    As for the petrol turbos found in the Focus, Mondeo, S-Max and Kuga, it is likely to be replaced soon with Ford’s own 2.0 litre turbo four – I surely do not see the thirsty Volvo 5 cylinder serving in the next generation of those vehicles.

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    NICE Ford! Nicer than the Fusion we get here. What is it?

  • avatar
    ruvi

    Geely to not steal IP? Ridiculous.

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/volvo-unions-call-for-geely-investigation/#more-338878

    The truth is probably, Ford is not so concerned about IP as for the financial deal:

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/volvo-geely-fallout-it%E2%80%99s-the-money-stupid/

  • avatar
    ruvi
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