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News // Autos

Volvo sold to Chinese Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

29 March 2010 , 08:20RIA Novosti3943

 

China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group signed a $1.8-billion deal with Ford Motor Co. on Sunday to acquire the U.S. auto giant's Volvo car unit, the Xinhua news agency said. According to the news agency, Ford has been attempting to sell Volvo since late 2008, due to its poor market performance. The deal was signed at the headquarters of Volvo Sweden's second largest city in Goteborg.


"China, the largest car market in the world, will become Volvo's second home market. Volvo will be uniquely-positioned as a world-leading premium brand, tapping into the opportunities in the fast-growing China market," Li Yizhong, China's minister of industry and information technology, who attended the ceremony, was quoted by the news agency as saying. Ford's Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth said the agreement provided a solid foundation for Volvo to continue building its business under Geely's ownership, Xinhua reported.

 

Li was quoted as saying Geely intended to preserve Volvo Cars' existing manufacturing facilities in Sweden and Belgium and explore opportunities to manufacture Volvo cars in China for the local market. Volvo, which has about 22,000 workers around the world including 16,000 in Sweden, was purchased by Ford in 1999 for some $ 6.4 billion.


Besides Ford, some other Western auto giants are also seeking buyers in China, which in 2009 took the lead from the U.S. in home car sales. According to Xinhua, Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings has agreed to buy some powertrain technology from General Motors Co.'s Swedish Saab unit.

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