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Someone once said that April is the cruelest month, but the folks at Volvo might want to argue that: rumors have surfaced that Ford is looking to unload the Swedish brand in an effort to stay afloat during The Economic Times, and sales docs are allegedly being readied for circulation in February.
The source of the gossip didn't want his/her name on record, but Ford spokesman Mark Truby did acknowledge that the company is considering a sale of Volvo--presumably alongside many other options to make Ford profitable and to prevent it from having to tap into that $9 billion line of credit the company requested from the feds. (FYI, that line of credit has yet to be approved.) In other words, it's one of many possibilities Ford is weighing, but given the fast and furious pace of mergers and sell-offs these days, it wouldn't be surprising if Ford saw Volvo as a big pile of ballast ready to be tossed overboard.
Of course the question remains: who'll buy Volvo in this market? Obviously, no one in America will take it on, and chances are slim that European makers have the funds to try, either. Could the Swedes handle propping up two automakers at once? One person familiar with the industry seems to think that Chinese manufacturers are flush with cash, but even they're in trouble now. What's a poor, possibly orphaned brand with a loyal customer base to do?