Its taken 18 months, but the deal is finally complete.
Volvo, that august producer of safe square boxes, was sold to China carmaker Geely in a move that will save both Volvo and Ford. The sale, which cost $1.8 billion, will have a bevy of financiers including banks from China, the US and Europe, the governments of Sweden and Belgium, Geely's Hong Kong unit, and local Chinese government officials.
Money was also raised through a bake sale, a pancake breakfast, a bachelor auction featuring Alan Mulally and Steve Odell, and the pennies from thousands of grade-school children.
Now, Volvo will be the crown jewel in recent Chinese car brand acquisitions and mark the first time a Chinese company has acquired the full operations of a major foreign automaker. In a country that has surpassed the United States as the worlds biggest auto market, purchases like this are very important.
Plans for the new Volvo include a massive upgrade in the amount of cars produced and the addition of several new, more luxurious cars to the lineup.
2011 should be an excellent year for Volvo, with redesigns of most of its vehicles continuing the slow process of chipping away at the shoebox design. Expect the little C30 and the XC models to retain the Batman taillights and expect all the cars to get larger and gaudier grilles. The little C30 should also retain its washing machine posterior.
Then there's the C90, the new super coupe with its BMW inspired body. An R model would help debunk their cars for geography teachers image.
Will Volvos reputation for safety be hurt by the Chinese? I doubt they'll be making cars out of plastic and lead-based paint, but just in case, don't lets the kids lick them.