Volvo Sticking Around, Going Smaller

August 13, 2008
Volvo is still not for sale, says a report from Autocar magazine, despite some Swedish workers calling for the brand to change hands and despite losses from the upscale carmaker.

Autocar says, as sources have suggested for the past year, that Volvo's product plan is a sore point at Ford, which had expected Volvo to underpin its growth in the luxury sector. But, rather than sell Volvo off to a Russian or Chinese interest, Ford will try once again to squeeze more volume and some profit out of the automaker, which it bought in 1999 for $6 billion.

Part of the new plan could be pitching the brand against premium mainstream brands like Volkswagen, instead of reaching to compete with the likes of BMW and Mercedes. It could also include a reworked range of less expensive vehicles with bigger volumes.

Ford seeks to boost Volvo volumes from 420,000 units a year to 600,000. Recent losses at the Swedish branch of the Ford empire have impacted launches of vehicles like the new 2009 Volvo XC60 crossover, which according to Autocar was developed outside of similarly-sized crossovers from Land Rover and Ford.

Autocar says Ford has been open to offers for Volvo, and China's Chery has been one of the most interested acquirers.

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