“An offer from the Crown consortium has been submitted. I can confirm that,” Holtback told the TT news agency.
However, he refused to elaborate on the potential deal to buy Volvo from US-owner Ford reported on by the Wall Street Journal.
Magnus Sundemo, chair of the Volvo Cars’ chapter of the engineers’ union Ingenjörer/Akademikerna, thinks that Ford has a rather flexible deadline for how long it may take before reaching a final decision about an eventual sale of Volvo.
“It’s a malleable limit. But naturally it’s creeping closer all the time. And the end of the year is the end of the year. There may be a goal they wish to achieve before the year is over,” he told TT.
Sundemo believes a potential deal with Geely is being held up by Ford’s desire to protect large portions of its intellectual property from leaking to China.
“From what I understand, that’s the issue Ford is putting most of its energy into. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. We (Volvo’s unions) want to bring enough with us to the new owners to remain a competitive company. Meanwhile Ford wants to release as little as possible,” he said.
What remains clear, however, is that the ties between Volvo and Ford won’t be cut especially quickly.
“Somehow there will be a ‘transfer period’. We have common platforms and common tools. That must be regulated. You can’t just cut the cord. We’re going to have to live together for a few years regardless of who the buyer is,” said Sundemo.