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Former Volvo directors oppose Chinese sale

TT/Stuart Roberts · 12 Dec 2009, 08:49

Published: 12 Dec 2009 08:49 GMT+01:00

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In the letter, the former directors implored Ford not to rush into selling Volvo Cars to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group without properly analyzing Volvo Cars' future, now that there are signs that the market and profitability are improving. The former directors believe that Geely is not a suitable owner of Volvo.

"It is a small company, which lacks the technical competence that is necessary to develop Volvo Cars," a source told Dagens Industri. Other misgivings expressed by the authors of the letter are that the technology could be leaked, and that Geely lacks experience outside China.

Earlier reports said US auto giant Ford picked Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in October as its preferred bidder for money-losing Volvo, which is based in Sweden. Geely subsidiary, Geely Automobile Holdings, has confirmed that it would be interested in acquiring the Chinese operations of Volvo if its parent company is successful in acquiring the troubled carmaker.

Among the authors of the letter are Sören Gyll and Gunnar L Johansson, both former managing directors and operations managers of Volvo. Three of the signatories are active in the current bidding process for Volvo, including Gyll, who is an adviser to rival bidder, the Jakob consortium.

According to Dagens Industri’s source, the former directors have stepped back from their other competing roles to appeal to Ford not to sell Volvo to Zhejiang Geely.

Volvo Cars' management has reacted strongly to the swirling debate around the Chinese automaker Geely, claiming that it borders on xenophobia. In response, managing director Stephen Odell and HR director Björn Sällström have written a letter to all Volvo employees about management’s attitude towards the company that may become Volvo Cars' new owner.

"It comes close to xenophobic undertones," Sällström told the newspaper Göteborgs-Posten. In the letter to employees, the directors wrote that "commentators represent both external and internal opinion, and give Volvo Cars and the brand a negative ring."

"We are working globally and exclude no one," Sällström told the paper.

Story continues below…

Meanwhile, the potential sale of Volvo PV to Geely has attracted strong criticism from the Christian Democrats, who fear a communist takeover of the iconic brand. A number of Christian Democrat politicians in the Swedish parliament have written in a debate article in Göteborgs-Posten that it is "deplorable how certain politicians, union representatives, media and others embrace Chinese Geely as a potential purchaser."

According to the article’s authors, in reality it is not Geely that will purchase Volvo, but rather the Communist Party and the Chinese state.

“The metal workers unions in Gothenburg have for decades tried to prevent the communists from moving into the company. But now it seems they are sitting back to let in worse communists than the Swedish have ever been in practice,” wrote, among others, Swedish parliamentarians Annelie Enochsson, Ingemar Vänerlöv, Holger Gustafsson and Else-Marie Lindgren.

TT/Stuart Roberts (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:48 December 12, 2009 by johnnytango
A word to the wise...keep it in Sweden. Once you lose the manufacturing sector the rest is sure to follow. The fabric of society begins to unravel. One needs only to look at the USA to understand this.
10:30 December 12, 2009 by Keith #5083
Sorry, Johnny, it is a truism that the 'modern wise' are deafened by their own arrogance!

Clearly the Volvo brand has declined in reliability and popularity in recent years, I mean, an 18 month old Volvo needing new shock absorbers?!?! It has declined to the point that even Swedish citizens have lost faith in it. The CD's are a little late in their concern for the irreligious taking over, especially since almost everything we buy has some chinese component. My car radio hardly ever plays chinese music and I've never heard any communist party speeches come out of it.

It is simpler to accept that Volvo is dead. Any 'resurrection urge' is more likely to come from the east than from the west - unless, of course, the gov wants to raise capital by issuing Public Preference Shares and inviting ALL Swedes to buy them to save this iconic swedish car manufacturer.

Somehow I have the feeling that this would not happen. But when Geely have even have Rolls Royce worried, I don't think it is such a bad recomendation for a new owner.
10:44 December 12, 2009 by bjinger
agree with @keith

If these honourable 8 formor Volvo directors can save Volvo, they have done it in the passing years. It's during the period of their time that Volvo were losing its cutting edge in the business. I can not agree with their arguments, a shelfish, narrow minded and shortsighted mindset.

Geely has its strong merits like any other car makers. The question of small or big, strong or weak, are transitional.
11:27 December 12, 2009 by Stormysmoker
The only way that Geely has RR worried is because of copyright issues and demeaning the brand name!

As competition they are not even in the same universe let alone the same ball park!
11:32 December 12, 2009 by Venturisection
Its not xenophobic there are perfectly rational reasons not to sell to China.

You only need to look at what happened to MG Rover. Chinese said that manufacturing would stay in UK there wouldn't be mass layoffs. Then boom the whole of the equipment in the factory is shipped to China everyone is out of a job. Even assembly doesn't exist. The Chinese have the MG Rover name who were once at the forefront of coming up with extreme ideas in Car Engineering.

Volvo wastes too much money and doesn't sell enough they can only hope to survive by selling more. Maybe they can do this in China and maybe this would be reasons to be bought by a Chinese company (its easier to get things done in China this way). However merging Volvo's Chinese operations with Geely Automotive would be a mistake. Geely Holdings would do well to keep them seperate to avoid messing it up..

Also, Ford will sell to whoever offers the most money its as simple as that personal appeals won't work, you can't influence Ford as Ford doesn't allow this sort of thing.
11:57 December 12, 2009 by Bensonradar
Johnnytango: "Once you lose the manufacturing sector the rest is sure to follow." How right you are!

Manufacturing is the life-blood of all countries. It's because the many local and national suppliers who sell to large manufacturers, suddenly lose their biggest customer or client. From ball bearings to legal services, from carpets and windscreens through to the tools used for assembling the cars. If Volvo exits Sweden, what will take its place? If Geely keep the manufacturing facility in Sweden in some shape or size, will quality control increase [see Keith#509#83]?

Surely the government understands this? Loosing the brand means losing part of the driving force that makes Sweden tick. A service economy offers little opportunity for substantial growth. It's getting new models out of the factory gates and marketing them that delivers growth.
13:13 December 12, 2009 by Eagle63
How naive...

Don't they realize that many loyal Volvo buyers would not buy another Volvo if this Swedish icon would become essentially Chinese...?

This goes even more for smaller Saab.

Sweden, for one time, stand up for yourself instead of always trying to be so overly political correct... and thus become subordinate to other countries, in this case China, a country that shares not many of the values we hold so dearly in the west.

Wake up Sweden, you have so much to lose....
14:42 December 12, 2009 by useronthenet
Shame on the Swedish government for allowing the sale of an Iconic brand which is synonymous with Sweden. Yet again we hear many treasures being sold off for what can only be described for personal gain at the expense of the nation. The government should have set a mandate of implementing special laws which can be invoked at any time if it the actions of any entity is deemed not in interest of the public domain or the country at large.

It is an unfortunate reality that most corporate companies seem to put the shareholders rights before the needs of the country. In a situation with putting all your eggs in one basket, then there is always a potential risk that one day this will used against us at a later date. We will eventually become dependent on that country since we will lose the skills neccessary to maintain our own industry and become slaves to another nation. If this is what you call progress then we have become seriously misinformed. Before investing in say a country like China,we must first consider the consequences of our actions. China has a reputation of having a terrible human rights record, one which is well documented. Secondly, since we are putting our resources into a foreign country which isn't neccessarily compatible with our own standards which will mean that certain transgressions may have to be overlooked. This in my opinion is totally unacceptable that the rights we have fought for in the past are now being sold to the highest bidder. I hope that Sweden will wake up and realise this is not the way forward but two steps backwards. Running an economy on the backs of others is morally wrong, it is not right, and it does not reflect I'm sure the opinion of the nation.
15:24 December 12, 2009 by bjinger
Swedes are proude for its international contacts in the past years, from Gothenburg Ship to China to the European professional immigrants to the countries. Never before have we seen such a closeness than now. Looking east is believed to be a stratigic outlook in wake of the globalization. As to human rights issue, all of us should feel humble before it as we have not rights to boast ourself as the model for all. Remember, before you become a teacher, you should first become a student.
15:30 December 12, 2009 by livinginsweden
So many experts on Volvo and car manufacturing and global economics and manufacturing in Sweden. I wish they would all form a company and bid for Volvo and Saab and maybe MG too and keep them in Sweden in a museum probably. The fact is they dont have enough pennies to bid for it.

I thought that the former directors if they have any self pride, should keep a low profile and not speak up about something they screwed up. It was their management and foresight or lack of that caused volvo to be where it is today .. a proud brand that has been mismanaged. They should be hanged in the public square.

The fact is the world's most successful companies in the world today have partnerships in China ..... the losers dont.

Those of you who are still taking about communists .... wake up .... take a visit to Moscow or Shanghai and try look for one communist. God you fell for the political propaganda and rhetoric hook, line and sinker. .... we are in 2010!!!!

Goes to show that one can live in a open and free society and still be totally ignorant....

ha ha.
15:57 December 12, 2009 by falcon
Huge mistake selling to Geely. With an abundance of (very) cheap labor, jobs in Sweden will go away.

History will judge the Government officials harshly if Volvo (and Saab) are sold to groups completely unqualified to buy them. This is a cruel joke.
16:04 December 12, 2009 by TvAmazon
If Sweden wishes to keep their brands like Volvo or Saab then they need to pay the taxes to support those businesses. The best way to do this is by imposing larger import taxes on competing cheaper foreign brands coming into the country that sell for cheaper prices. This way the cheaper brands that are pushing out the local brands and elimating local jobs help pay for Swedish brands that cost more to make because of the higher standard of living.

China has been growing like crazy so why not impose import taxes on foreign goods from China and Japan to help support the local brands that China and Japan are helping to push out and eliminate.
16:43 December 12, 2009 by bocale1
ok, ok, let me think... Swedish government, to prevent that a communist country takes over Volvo and Saab, should buy shares and become co-owner of those 2 so-far private companies... is it not what we use to think about communist countries?

I mean, asking the state to put money to prevent that a true commercial competition ends in a wrong way is something quite communist, indeed.

Chinese are very good in learning and applying what others have invented, like, for example, the capitalism rules... Too late to complain, now for all of us!

Bye bye Volvo and SAAB, story is over!
16:45 December 12, 2009 by Nemesis
American companies are notorious for exporting jobs, destroying jobs and reducing value everywhere they go. People in the UK and Ireland are well versed on that.

If the companies goes to the far east, jobs will go that direction as well.

SAAB and Volvo jobs as well as the brand names need to be kept in Sweden. If not it will rip the heart out of Swedish manufacturing. The knock on effect will most likely take out 30,000 jobs in Sweden from the main companies to suppliers. The effect of that will be catastrophic.

At stake here is manufacturing jobs that are best kept inside Europe, not exporting them and leaving tens of thousands unemployed.

SAAB and Volvo need to stay in Europe and preferably Sweden.

If necessary SAAB and Volvo need to be nationalised for a temporary period, to find a buyer.

Letting SAAB and Volvo leave Sweden will destroy the core of Swedish manufacturing and cripple the Swedish economy for years.

Also any politican who were sitting in power when it happens will find themselves in real trouble.
17:21 December 12, 2009 by Keith #5083
I suggest peeps google Geely before making too many assumptions. Geely is a priivately owned manufacturer. Geely has ' purchased in' high tech companies (eg. for drive train), Geely is establishing manufacturing plants outside China. In other words, Geely's pedigree is not so different than Ford's.

Furthermore, in the last 2 years investment capital has drifted away from long-distance importing to more localised manufacturing -which may be nominally more expensive (the customer pays anyway) but is extremely more efficient (no oil price problems on freight costs, pirate or weather disruption problems, political or warfare problems, etc.etc.)

What could Volvo do with an input of fresh ideas, more affordable and marketable products and a revitalised/inspired workforce? Geely has something to prove on the world stage and such a marriage of insights, inspiration and manufacturing practices may just be good for both companies.

Why is it insecurely assumed that Volvo and it's workforce are not a worthwhile asset? Do we think the chinese so bad at business that they don't see a wonderful opportunity - for BOTH companies? They don't need to buy Volvo to copy A Volvo - they could have it for free after Volvo goes bust!

Not everything from the east is bad...every morning the sun comes from there!
17:26 December 12, 2009 by TvAmazon
@Nemesis I don't know why you are so bent out of shape over America. Saab would have been gone long ago if GM hadn't supported Saab for as long as it did. The same goes for Volvo. It is still around thanks to Ford along with the 30,000 jobs that American companies have been supporting. What has Sweden done for the US and ABBA doesn't count? Sweden does have many beautiful nordic women to look at and cheap IKEA furniture but that hardly pays back the US companies and US investors and taxpayers who have supported these struggling Swedish car manufacturers for so long. I don't understand all the US hatred. Without the US and the US taxpayer supporting a strong US military that propped up NATO the Swede's would be German or worse Russian. They certainly wouldn't have the high social standard of living they currently have. They would have been paying much higher taxes going to support their own military and freedom that they currently have been forced to do and not have all the social services they currently enjoy.

Quit banging on the US because without the American taxpayers support of the American militaries might and willingness to step in and kick anybody's ass that messed with their European brothers then Europe would look much different than the social democracies than they are now.
19:29 December 12, 2009 by ou2chi
@Keith #5083

Wake up Keith. It is common knowledge in the corporate sector know that the Chinese government sets up and funds investment vehicles to acquire companies all over the world. Most of the so-called chinese companies are permutations of the chinese government which in reality means the communist party, which in reality means a few powerful men.

Read Venturisection's post about what happened to MG Rover? Wouldn't be surprised and keith and co re part of the Chinese government's PR machine!
19:39 December 12, 2009 by wenddiver
Well said TVAmazon. What would Europe look like if America hadn't been drug kicking a screaming into two World Wars in Europe. If we had an obligation to defend Europe from Stalin why fidn't so many other countries?

What do you think the cost to the US Taxpayer was of the Berlin Airlift , D-Day and the Marshall Plan.

I bet America is right at the top for countries that BUY Volvos. Isn't that really how you save a company, you vote with your own pocket books.
20:14 December 12, 2009 by izbz
Me, a chinese from Malaysia, when I first heard that the chinese is going to buy up Volvo, all I said to my wife is 'OOPS, they really do not know what they are getting themselves into'

Just look at most of the product from China, you'll know what I mean. Only thing I trust coming from China are Wushu(kung fu) and Chinese crusine.

If the deal really go thru', definately the cars will stil LOOK like Volvo, but quality??????????
21:03 December 12, 2009 by bjinger

You are not Chinese.

The new owner of Volvo can be someone's, and I suggest the American or the Swedish can keep it, but the problem is that they wish to but can not, and keep it from going bankrupt.


You are telling a truth that many companies are state-owned in the world, just like in Sweden, France, Uk and many more, but Geely is not! you are not telling the truth.
21:57 December 12, 2009 by spy
A letter from the MD and HR director to employees will not change the fact that Geely are a bunch of savages. Geely ownership will be bad for Volvo and potentially their suppliers too. I hope Volvo can escape their clutches. Good luck Volvo!
22:12 December 12, 2009 by volvoman9
Lets face it. Volvo Corp sold the car manufacturing entity because they were an eclectic brand in economic terms. They produce a fine product ( this coming from one who has owned examples from the last four decades) but it may be irrelevant in today's automotive culture. Western society is rapidly becoming a consumer based one. This model is unsustainable as every emerging industrial nation longs to emulate the culture it is supplying.

Having traveled a great deal in my lifetime I am always perplexed with the fixation that other cultures have on everything American. The very culture the world wishes to copy may be the one that destroys it.

Volvo and Saab are viable brands in the context of their value in a smaller more discriminating market. However this will require the consumer to pay a premium and perhaps accept some form of compromise if they are to survive. I will never purchase a Chinese Volvo; not because of Xenophobia but because I am confronted with inferior quality Chinese products every day. This does not mean the Chinese will not someday attain the quality that we in the western world expect but this will only be accomplished by the purchase of western brands in order to fast track the intellectual edge they presently lack. By the time they are up to speed much will be lost. This may be sad and a travesty but it is the nature of things. This was already done in Japan after WWII. Today they are the pre-eminate producers of the most coveted goods.

The consumer dominated society is unsustainable on a large scale. The bulk of consumers come from the working class. As their purchasing power is diminished the retail market they support is no longer realistic. America is on a fast track to prove this theory.
22:30 December 12, 2009 by livinginsweden

Its strange to hear that a malaysian chinese would say such bad things about china ... when so many reliable things are made and imported from china ...... chinese spacecraft going into space , etc. maybe malaysia chinese are not as good as china chinese .... or maybe you are one fo those foreigners who wish they have white skin? With an inferiority complex maybe?
23:48 December 12, 2009 by Keith #5083
#17 Oh but I am awake ou2chi :) Your definition of 'government controlled' is rather..er..uhmm..narrow. No I don't have any connection whatsoever with any chinese company or it's government (except my wireless modem internet connection is from a chinese company, supplied by a Swedish company, this connects me to this chatboard).

Equally your presentation of control by an elite is somewhat biased. You mean to tell me that Wall Street and other such banking/financial centres are not elitist and have not disastrously levelled control - even over governments - in this past year? Explain the difference to me,please, 'like I was a child'. At least in China they put people in prison for the sort of thing that has gone on in the western banking sector these past few years.

You quote the MG saga to an englishman like me (like I don't know the other less simplified version than the one you present) - let me quote the Australian DSI success story to YOU. Bought up by Geely, DSI drive trains will soon be supplying...erm, Ford? Such a story really is 'bad' news by your definition for Volvo????

The fact that Geely and/or the Chinese gov is interested to buy Volvo tells me that Volvo has a future. It's a kind of recommendation that Volvo has something worth keeping in the marketplace. The Chinese are,are, efficient business people and I truly believe wish to have a foothold of some integrity and quality in the European Market.

Oh, by the way, have you ever owned a Volvo? I have and it was an OK car. I would be sad to see Volvo disappear and if Geely can assist it to have life, I say 'roll on Geely'! Oh, and I don't live far away from Trollhattan and Gothenburg either!!!
23:55 December 12, 2009 by samwise
livinginsweden, don't you remember the old communist soviet unions? they sent a spacecraft to the space before the states did, does that mean they made good cars too? hell no.

the last thing dictators and tyrants want to screw up is the military, because that's the only thing that matters in the end, that is what keeps them in power.

In china, nothing is truly private owned. they don't even acknowledge private properties in the so-called "constitution". people are not allowed to own a piece of land.

it's a different world, my friend, everybody understands and follows the rules that are not written on the book.
03:10 December 13, 2009 by Davey-jo
Any old soul with enough money is a suitable owner for any capitalist concern. If they've got the money they can but whatever.

You surely wouldn't want to buck the market and upset free trade and all that would do? You might scare away all those frightened little capitalists and their slipper collections.
04:49 December 13, 2009 by 2394040
The New World Order, most likely, has already decided the ultimate fate of Volvo. It's probably alreadly a done deal. Just the usually formalities are left; signing of papers, etc.
05:29 December 13, 2009 by SaavSaab
We are a consortium created by non-greedy established business leaders wanting to save Saab (SaavSaab). Saab's future lies in it's past not in a country where they specialize in cheap vanilla flavoured, mostly copied products. There is nothing wrong with Chinese products as long as you are not looking for something unique and special!

Saab has a reputable engineering past having been at the forefront of the aircraft and automobile industry and now with C3 showing it's technological leadership in the the new medium web3.

It is our intention to give Saab back to it's employees, the Sweedes and Saab owners globally. Our plan details are confidential but built around these previous points as well as protecting the current Sweedish workforce.

Our team Is a group of respected Leaders from a variety of applicable industries. We have not been able to get a sale prospectus and ask you to support our bid by writing to us at our blog SaavSaab.blogspot.com or SaavSaab@cxoconsulting.com.au with your support for our bid.
10:38 December 13, 2009 by bjinger
to #12

you are not a bussinessman. Think, if Volvo cars are mainly produced for the Swedes you can close you door to the imports. History proved that without the international contacts, Sweden can achieve nothing, simply a poor and cold country.
11:05 December 13, 2009 by izbz
@bjinger, livinginsweden

I am Malaysian born Chinese, I like my skin colour, at least I don't look so pale like a lot of people. Inferior complex I have non. I am sure technology in China is superb, but they are also very superb in original copy, buy any branded items from China, you can't be sure it is really original.


In your past comments on other topics you have also say bad things about Sweden. I am sure you don't hate Sweden. You are only speak your mind. Or maybe I might be wrong, maybe you are forced to stay in Sweden on gun point. Maybe you are not as good as the Swede since you said so much crab about Sweden, police force and etc.....

Nej, You are only saying what you think just like me.

Don't think they will treat me any special than you if I go to apply for a visa in the Chinese embassy. Only advantage I have is I speak Mandarin and 4 other Chinese dialects
11:42 December 13, 2009 by bjinger
To izbz

I know you are speaking your mind mainly based on some facts. Though you are oversea chinese, i thought you know china little, just like some chinese in Sweden they are teaching the local Swedes Chinese culture( i have attended a class). I say to myself, wat is she talking about, poor man, you are a foreigner.
15:47 December 13, 2009 by steven wang
now china is the biggest car market, do you think GM will well develop volvo cars in china, absolutely not. in china every other brand owned by GM is selling pretty well exclud the volvo. If all the people refuse to sale the volvo to china, thus volvo may be vanish in less 10 years. think about that.
22:50 December 13, 2009 by ou2chi
@Keith #5083

It's a good idea to understand the argument before responding to it. You created a straw men and spent acres of space dismantling it. I don't think you are as dumb as you make yourself out to be. Did I define "government controlled" or even mention it? Get this: Geely is government-owned not government-controlled. Set up, funded and run by the communist party, just like other so called Chinese companies buying brands all over the world. And do not pretend to understand what happened to MG Rover. Better to stick to issues you understand and are paid to pontificate on. Now take the post to your handler and get paid. I hear they have increased the fees.

You said: "At least in China they put people in prison for the sort of thing that has gone on in the western banking sector these past few years." Yeah? Get this. They catch the small people, the fall guys, and hang them the next day after a speedy show trial. The real communist fat cats continue to prowl the corridors of power, while their hired propagandists cheer on.
03:57 December 14, 2009 by rlongo
From my experience in dealings with the Chinese in the the aerospace industry, I believe China definitely does not have the technical competence to develop Volvo Cars today. Remember, these are all new graduates that will be put to work to develop new automobiles (aircraft in my situation). It won't work. At least not in the first 10-15 years of ramp up/gaining of experience. I have only driven Volvos in my lifetime. I am currently still driving my first 1999 s70 with 310000 km and just bought a 2009 V70 (for wife and newborn). I also convinced my dad and cousin to buy Volvos, which they are extremely happy with. Mark my words though, if Volvo goes Chinese, I will never buy another Volvo again. I would also never buy a Ford if the sale to Geely goes through ( I was really looking forward to the new Focus!) .
07:49 December 14, 2009 by lingonberrie
Nemesis, post # 14

For once I agree with you.

You other Swedes who are so intent on declaring Saab and Volvo dead, perhaps you have swallowed too much of the bush kool-aid, and are now swallowing copious amounts of the Obama kool-aid.

You just might run out, so perhaps you need to take a trip to that economic and jobless Depression waste-land to get a few hundred more liters.

You should stay a while as well. Be sure to take your Swedish health card with you, or you might return to Sweden broke and in debt a few hundred thousands of kroner because you visited one of their doctors with a headache.
08:22 December 14, 2009 by Keith #5083
#33 ou2chi

tut.tut. ou2chi - did I tread on a nerve or something? If so, my apologies.

I simply had not realised your pedantic seperation of the words 'owned' and' controlled' - generally they mean the same thing in the capitalist world. I re-iterate, I am not employed by anyone, my views are my own - I don't need paying to be unbiased or to, as it seems, upset you.. Of course, I assume that Swedish and EEC laws would prevent human rights abuses and protect citizens here, but equally human rights abuses happen in capitalist systems also. It's a blind, prejudiced individual that cannot equate the two.

If we think that China will change it's politics and human rights treatments by hiding behind our' holier than thou' wall, we need to re-appraise the situation. There is no greater force for change in the modern world than the cross-polination of cultures and religions - aided by healthy doses of materialism.

I am rather hoping that a Volvo sale to Geely might just have a far more profound effect than the price of shares, your words or political gestures.

(By the way, did you check out DSI, as a counter balance to your MG story?)..
08:41 December 14, 2009 by Philip21
I can understand that many people do not want to see Geely taking over at VCC, but perhaps there is no other good option in front of Ford.

Jakob are a waste of space, - no content and no logical plan of how a Union can suddenly manage the company ....

Crown made a stupid low offer last Summer and then sat back over-confidently, and are now joining the party but are not viewed as serious....

And now the ex- VCC Presidents (who are motivated under the table by Crown) are trying to cause trouble to delay any decision while Crown catches up,- and now the Union ask for 3 months to investigate as yet another delaying tactic....

Very interesting to watch, but if it were so easy to run a car company in such a tough business environment would n't all the other car makers be more successful?

..come on Crown, if you are really serious pull your finger out and make a clearly better offer; your games are not helping.
11:53 December 14, 2009 by ou2chi

Mark Twain warned: "Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."
12:41 December 14, 2009 by Keith #5083

Mark Twain was absolutely right.

:D thx 4 the discussion
12:51 December 14, 2009 by izbz
@Steven Wang

China is not the biggest, it is only ONE of the biggest. GM is not the only bidder, maybe they are giving the highest bid. Volvo will not vanish in 10 years even they don't sell to GM. There are still a few company that want to buy up Volvo at the right price. No company would want to dump in billions if they don't have confident. Without China....Volvo vanish?????????

Don't brag, just because u are Chinese.
15:53 December 14, 2009 by karex
Just a small note: don't know about the remaining 6, but the two former managing directors named above are pre-Ford period, ergo, they are not responsible for creating the mess Volvo is in - Ford is.

Agree with Keith - my Ford-built Volvo needs a complete new set of brakes every 18 months or so (and I DON'T drive like a lunatic). Without mentioning the inordinate amount of rust showing up everywhere, and the fact that for 6 years it would "black out" whilst driving - out of the blue. No one could figure out why. Finally the culprit was found: RUST on the electrical contacts!

This never happened to a Volvo car before Ford bought them...
16:49 December 14, 2009 by mkvgtired
@Nemesis, "American companies are notorious for exporting jobs, destroying jobs and reducing value everywhere they go."

So selling Volvo to a Chinese company is a good thing. It will get it out of the clutches of an evil American corporation.

[quietly overlook that Volvo would have went bankrupt long ago if it weren't for Ford]
04:13 December 15, 2009 by uffia
Those former Volvo directors are obviously xenophobia. They were/are the ones to drive Volvo into the distressful situation.

Let's keep emotion aside, we have to face the reality:

1. Never sell Volvo to any former director-led groups. Just look at what the Phoenix Four did on MG Rover.

The Phoenix Four purchased Rover from BMW in 2000 for £10, and BMW also offered a £427million interest-free loan and stocks of cars to make the deal more attractive. However, in four years, MG Rover placed itself in administration while the Phoenix Four were enriching themselves with tens of millions pounds.

2. Never sell Volvo to any PE-led groups. Those people only want to make quick money, and they don't care jobs, brand-name, etc. The New York Times have documented quite a few cases.

3. Among those Volvo's bidders, Geely is the most suitable one to carry on the Volvo tradition in a long term.

Technology is important, but the market is the most critical one. If you have good products and technology but cann't sell them well as in the case of Volvo and Saab, you can't make enough money to update your products and technology to keep up with the competition, jobs and brand will be gone soon.

Geely has a very good business plan such as developing more upper-scale, bigger Volvos to compete with Audi, BMW, etc. Do you know how many Audi A6 sold in China each year? 150,000. If Geely bought Volvo, the Chinese government is happy to help by designating Volvos as government cars. That's a huge market in China. Volvo will eat Audi and BMW's lunch for sure. As the cake is getting bigger, Volvo jobs in Sweden will be secure.
10:51 December 15, 2009 by bjinger
to #43

you are telling the big truth and nature of the issue. quite agree with your analysis.

I see many of the dear folks here (in the western world)are still sleeping without knowing the change of the world. and I think it's the media and the cold war mentality that should be blamed. They are not adapt to the new situation and are for decades still enthusiastic at covering issues of the so-called human rights and all the negative stuffs that can satisfy their appetite. Go and ask the locals in China, they will wake you up.
09:11 December 16, 2009 by karex

You need to study your history a bit more.

The US was not dragged kicking and screaming into two world wars.

WWII was what saved the country from the deep depression, the US NEEDED a war - one that was fought somewhere else of course, to step up manufacturing and kick-start the economy again. Some even say that Pearl Harbor was a set-up to sway the American public opinion towards the war. Nothing like good old-fashioned revenge to get the juices running.
11:46 December 18, 2009 by Roy E
In a country of only nine million people, a little xenophobia is a good thing if what you have is worth keeping.

´Xenophobia´ is just another ot those words that are designed to get you to surrender, stifle debate, and compromise what you hold dear. Don't be intimidated by this disingenuous tactic.
17:19 December 23, 2009 by DamnImmigrant
@Roy E says:

"Xenophobia´ is just another ot those words that are designed to get you to surrender, stifle debate, and compromise what you hold dear. Don't be intimidated by this disingenuous tactic."

Totally Agree! The other word I see used all the time that is used to get the same reaction as xenophobia is the word RACIST. Misused and misunderstood!
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