Ford wants to start a brand new stage in its development, and as such, it has slowly sold off most of its other brands, especially the European ones like Jaguar, Land Rover or Aston Martin. The last remaining company in the Blue Oval's portfolio was Volvo.
Now, after almost a year of negotiations and talks, Ford has officially revealed that it has sold Swedish automaker Volvo to Chinese group Zhejiang Geely Holding, commonly known as Geely.
Talks between the two groups started in the middle of 2009, and were pretty long and tense. Luckily for fans of the Swedish company, the deal finally went through, with Geely paying Ford $1.8 billion for 100 percent ownership of Volvo.
"Volvo is an excellent brand with a strong product line, and it has returned to profits after a successful restructuring. We are confident Volvo has a solid future under Geely's ownership," said Alan Mulally, Ford's president and CEO. "At the same time, the sale of Volvo will allow us to sharpen our focus on the Ford brand around the world and continue to deliver on our One Ford plan serving our customers with the very best cars and trucks in the world."
Geely is also feeling extremely good, with its founder and chairman, Li Shufu, declaring: "This is a historic day for Geely, which is extremely proud to have acquired Volvo Cars. This famous Swedish premium brand will remain true to its core values of safety, quality, environmental care and modern Scandinavian design as it strengthens the existing European and North American markets and expands its presence in China and other emerging markets."
As you know, Volvo is known around the world for its safety technologies, and for the premium products it releases on the market. Even though many people complained that the Chinese influence from Geely might ruin the Scandinavian brand, both Ford and Geely are quite confident that Volvo will continue unharmed under the new ownership.
Even though the Blue Oval is no longer the owner of the Scandinavian brand, this doesn't mean ties between it and Volvo are broken. The two companies will continue to work together on joint platforms, as well as share engines and other technologies that were developed up until now. Technical expertise will continue to be offered by Ford engineers to their Swedish counterparts.
With the new ownership, some big corporate changes have been made. First off, the current CEO of Volvo, Stephen Odell, will move on to lead Ford Europe, as well as retain a new vice president position at the Blue Oval.
In his place, Geely has named former Volkswagen USA CEO Stefan Jacoby. He will become both CEO and president of Volvo Cars. Acting chairman will be Geely founder Li Shufu.
Stefan Jacoby said: "I am honoured to join a company with the prestige and growth potential of Volvo. Our employees, suppliers, dealers -- and above all our customers -- can be confident that Volvo will preserve its special status as the industry leader in vehicle safety and innovation -- even as it pursues new market opportunities."
Hopefully, the new move will benefit all of the parties involved, with Geely able to expand in Europe, Volvo able to enter the Chinese market and Ford able to focus on its own operations.