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Ford completes sale of Volvo brand

DETROIT — Ford said Monday that it has completed the sale of its Volvo brand to Chinese automaker Geely for $1.8 billion.

The sale of the Swedish car brand completes the sale of all of the foreign brands that were once part of the company's Premier Automotive Group and gives China's fast-growing manufacturing industry a high-profile acquisition.

Ford had lost millions on Volvo since acquiring the Swedish automaker for $6.4 billion in 1999, and reported a pretax loss of $653 million on the brand in 2009.

"Volvo is an excellent brand with a strong product line, and it has returned to profits after a successful restructuring," Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally said in a statement. "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."

Since 2007, Ford has sold Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover and reduced its ownership stake in Mazda. In June, Ford said it would discontinue production of all Mercury vehicles by the end of the year.

The transaction also completes a process that began in late 2008 when Ford first said it would consider selling Volvo. Ford announced in March that it had reached a definitive agreement with Geely.

"We believe this agreement will provide Volvo with the necessary resources, including the capital investment, to strengthen the business and to continue to move it forward in the future," Ford CFO Lewis Booth said in a statement. "We wish Volvo's management team, employees and new owners every success for the future."

Geely plans to expand Volvo's presence in China and other emerging market while retaining its headquarters and manufacturing presence in Sweden and Belgium.

To help lead the way, Geely on Monday named Stefan Jacoby, the CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, as president and CEO Volvo Cars.

"This is a historic day for Geely, which is extremely proud to have acquired Volvo Cars," Geely Chairman Li Shufu said. "This famous Swedish premium brand will remain true to its core values of safety, quality, environmental care and modern Scandinavian design."

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