Ford sets price tag for Volvo

Ford is preparing to sell its Swedish carmaking arm Volvo Cars for $8 billion (53 billion kronor), it has been reported.

The decision to sell Volvo was made two weeks ago, Britain’s Sunday Times has reported, citing unnamed sources.

No date for the sale has been decided, the paper says, and no bank has yet been appointed to handle the deal. The price could also be adjusted if the value of the dollar continues to fall on international currency markets.

Speculation that Ford plans to sell Volvo follows a period of crisis at the US car giant. The company sold British luxury brand Aston Martin earlier in 2007, and sales of Land Rover and Jaguar are reportedly imminent. The three British companies and Volvo together comprise Ford’s Premier Automotive Group (PAG).

The sale could see Volvo revert to Swedish ownership, with the Wallenberg family’s holding company Investor tipped as a possible buyer. Other companies named in reports include Volvo Trucks, which sold the carmaker to Ford in 1999 for $7 billion.

Volvo is believed to be the only company in the Premier Automotive Group to be turning a profit – the company is believed to have been half a million dollars in the black in 2006, although Ford does not publish release profit details for its individual marques.

A sale of Volvo and the other PAG companies is expected to be made harder by the fact that Ford has integrated elements of the companies’ production. The brands share components with other manufacturers in the group. Volvo’s safety system, for example, has been used in other PAG cars.