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Geely's Volvo buy signals new world order: Swedish media

AFP · 29 Mar 2010, 11:00

Published: 29 Mar 2010 11:00 GMT+02:00

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"A new chapter in industrial history is being written in Gothenburg," the southwestern Swedish city where the $1.8-billion deal was announced Sunday, financial editorialist Patricia Hedelius wrote in the Dagens Nyheter daily.

The deal, which ends more than a decade of Volvo ownership by Ford Motor Co, "offers a preview of how the world economic map is being re-drawn," she said.

The signing in Volvo's headquarters marked the first large-scale Chinese purchase of a European high-end car brand, but "the sensational deal is likely just one in a long line of deals going forward in which Chinese companies buy Western" technology know-how, Hedelius said.

"We will probably see a broad onslaught and strong determination from Chinese companies hunting for assets outside of China," she added.

Jacques Wallner, Dagens Nyheter's car editor, agreed, calling Sunday's deal "a first whiff announcing that new and storm-filled times await car makers in Europe, the US and Japan."

With Geely's purchase of an old European brand like Volvo, which was founded in 1926, China can boast "a Chinese car company with specialty technology," he said, predicting that "in time, consumers in the West will come to accept that quality cars can come from China."

While Wallner insisted it was useless feeling nostalgic for the good old days when Volvo was purely Swedish, he said he was nonetheless "saddened that a large Swedish car company has landed in the hands of the Chinese Communist dictatorship."

"China has no tradition of unions, co-determination and respect for workers ... it is a hierarchical society. Hopefully, Geely and China will learn more from Volvo than just the technology," he said.

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While the Swedish government, the unions and much of the public in and around Gothenburg, celebrated Geely's vow to preserve Volvo factories in Sweden and Belgium, Nils-Olof Ollevik wrote in the Svenska Dagbladet daily that the joy was premature.

The deal, he pointed out, was being financed largely by the Chinese state and regional governments and banks, along with the European Investment Bank.

"No matter how good intentions were when the deal was signed yesterday, the conditions can change extremely quickly, especially for a company that gets its loans from banks controlled by a dictator regime," he said.

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Your comments about this article

12:05 March 29, 2010 by miss79
volvo, saab then wat ?ikea?electrolux?
12:39 March 29, 2010 by livinginsweden
wallner, Nils, et al .. why throw in communist, dictatorship, hierarchical, etc... when you can add in rice eating, slant eye yellow skin, hordes, ....

and add in state own goldman sachs, state own system bolaget, or state own citibank, or state own media like cnbc, msnbc, cnn,

Unions and ford spend 10 years wrecking the value of volvo from 6+ billion to less than 2billion today and we dont hear you call them out for destroying a swedish icon or holding them accountable.

China might be controlled by dictator.... but which countries are controlled by big businesses and big unions .... for the benefits of the directors of those big businesses and big unions?

ha ha ... the hypocrisy and racists slant of so-called reporters
13:12 March 29, 2010 by Venturisection
Ford Didn't destroy the Volvo Brand they did it all by themselves.
13:40 March 29, 2010 by sebseb
Ford destroyed Volvo, like it or not. In fact, Volvo, under Ford, developed the Bifuel, but Ford cut the financing in 2007. Then some people left Volvo and went to Volks, where they developed a Passat that uses biogas. Pissed off people who had had enough with Ford, left Volvo.

Last year, Ford realized that they had been wrong to stop the development of bifuel, so they launched their Focus that uses biogas. That was so stupid since Swedish, if they are to buy a car that uses biogas, it is most likely to be a Volvo, not a Ford.

Anyway, again, we see that American mentality, they think that Europeans still love "America" as in fct we see "America" as the symbol of shallowness and big crap.

Long live to China. Make no mistake, China is using its US dollars in order to get rid of them in exchange of concrete stuff, China will buy Americans interest abroad FIRST. Not only in a few years USA won't be producing anything, but worst, they won't own anything abroad.

USA, the next third world, mark my word!
13:48 March 29, 2010 by livinginsweden
Yes we love america... everything american.

yes we do. Why? därför!

ha ha
13:54 March 29, 2010 by bjinger
after decades of propaganda and mindwash by the western media, a awakening call is so needed for those closing themselves in this changing times.
14:14 March 29, 2010 by americanska
these posts are funny as hell.

but i believe ford has been looking to sell off volvo for a long time. sure has hell no european automakers could afford it.

now a chinese equiptment maker is going for it = because they don't know any better.

you people that looks to bash america when an american company buys one of your or sells of of yours are pathetic.

people now adays just don't seeme to understand that everything good in the last 150 years has been because of the USA. including the little thing you are using to post these comments.
16:04 March 29, 2010 by livinginsweden

ha ha ha ......
16:44 March 29, 2010 by 2394040
There is nothing new about this "new world order". It has been in the works since at least the end of the First World War. It is based on a gradual reduction of personal freedom worldwide, and the creation of a one-world political and economic union. Unfortunately it will put more and more power and wealth in the hands of a few. How much personal freedom will be lost is unknown, but it will probably be considerable.
18:25 March 29, 2010 by John D.
If it wasn't for Ford, Volvo would of been out of business a long time ago. Much like Saab if GM didn't buy it. Both Volvo and Saab were in financial trouble and needed a partner with money. The little fishes were bought by the big ones.

Now if things don't work out there will be someone else to blame it on.

By the way what happened to the Ship Building Industry that used to be in Sweden? Who is to blame for that?
18:34 March 29, 2010 by Zero

Isn't funny that as Sweden's biggest car making company is bought by China all that dumb Europeans like you can do to make yourselves feel better is to bash America? Honestly, we know you don't love America. We don't love you either. Personally I wish we had allowed Sweden to be gobbled up by the Soviet Union. You guys would have made a nice SSR.

Anyway, what does Sweden have left? All your big companies are owned by foreign nations, and your sports teams suck too. You're not even in the world cup. Its funny that Americans don't even care about soccer and yet, we're in the world cup and you're not. And nice job in Olympic Hockey too. Just because your country sucks, doesn't mean you have to bash the USA.

But I guess that what you'd expect from a cowardly little country that let's bigger countries fight their battles for them (just see World War 2 and the Cold War as examples). Do you think the USA would ever let Hitler send his troops through our territory to invade our neighbors? haha.

One more question, if China is the next superpower, why does everyone in Sweden speak English and not Chinese? Mark my words, in 50 years Swedish will be a dead language. And good riddance to it!
18:40 March 29, 2010 by alisonashley
I think people running their mouths about the US need to take a look at the economic model of China and be worried.

Also people running their mouths about the US need to remember that they would not be allowed to run their mouths if it had not been for American, French, British, and Spanish blood shed - Swedes in the weeds- watch everyone else do the dirty work!! You are a bunch of copy cats and beg to live in my home State of Florida and not to mention taking over our real estate. You use all of our capitalistic ideas to do business and then cheat and steal our money that is due to us after we used good business ethics - Shall I start with Ericsson Communications?
18:43 March 29, 2010 by Zero
I'm sure if China had the power in the world that the USA now enjoys, Swedes would be begging to have the USA running things again. After a couple of more Tianemmen Squares they'd be ready for the US.
19:03 March 29, 2010 by alisonashley
No. Some of you have no idea what you are saying. You think China is going to make a bed of roses for the world? They cannot take care of their own people. What makes you think they are going to care for anyone else? Do you see where they are building a manufacturer? In another communistic country - which allows no entrepreneurial ism or privatization of property. People in Russia work so that they are allowed to eat...is there any motivation in that? I do not think so. The people in the United States are aware that we want industrialization back in our country and thank goodness for Obama's 160 billion dollar stimulus for the manufacturing of solar and wind energy which will happen in the US and 60 billion toward education in the energy industry. It appears that the US might be back on track; focus on buying hard core American products again -trying to continue to use good business ethics.
23:07 March 29, 2010 by americanska
Sweden has become the GOOD country it is today because they have always been very Americanized.

Too many europeans (and probably many that have parents that immigrated to sweden or america) in this generation just bash america. you guys really have no idea what anything would be like. No one reading this could live a day without using an american invention. Even down to the food you eat (modern agriculture)
23:35 March 29, 2010 by VOLVO ROCKER
I have to say,i am truly truly heartbroken on the Ameribashing going on here..Ive loved Sweden for many years,and have had the extreme pleasure of visiting several times..Im a huge Volvo fan (ABBA too lol),and i have to throw my opinion in here..Ford sunk alot of $$ into Volvo Car AB,in so developing its current roster of good looking cars..if not my guess,Volvo would have gone by the wayside or still be pumping out 240s and 900s.Volvo is a small company,who in this economic climate needs cash flow..funny how AB Volvo didnt want Volvo Car back..

Volvos largest market has been the USA.. We suck up friggin Volvos by far morte than Sweden and the other 2 Scandinavian countries combined do..

As for GM and SAAB..yea,GM was jacked with them,but truth be known..SAAB has been a quirk brand since its inception..So..if Scania wanted out ,and most companies who come near SAAB do.what the F do u think wouldf have happened to them anyway..U bastard cry an awful lot..like a Bergman film.

Volvo lost direction..suddenly they felt the need to play in the upmarket Germanic luxury car field..truthfully..a V8 Volvo?? Nonsense..Volvo stopped being honest Volvos awhile ago.I would have loved VW AG to purchase them but why would they??of what gain would it be?? Volvo has been a money loser..if they werent,Im sure the Blue Oval would have held on to them..Its an over saturated market..Dont go bashing the US because F...n Volvo isnt seemingly turning in a profit

Im disgusted,and fedup with you bashing us and Ford,cus Volvo and SAAB cant turn out a profit...

..very saddend

Lets see if u will be happier with a Dong Feng V70

ya j.o.s
12:51 March 30, 2010 by wenddiver
Simple capitalism, no part of the company has a right to drag down the rest of the company by not making a profit. The profit was made by selling the non-producing asset to somebody who thinks they can make a profit.

If they can it was a good move on their part, if not they will need to find a buyer. Volvos actually sold in America, unlike SAAB, but never penetrated the cntinental European market enough to be viable.

Would have needed a lot more of them on Germany, Italy and France's roads to be viable.
16:14 March 31, 2010 by Audrian
I think original owners of Volve (Swedish) understood the market trend when they sold it to Ford (for $6.3b). Now Volvo was happy to have a Chinese buyer for less than two billion dollars. Did the Chinese make a mistake? I think the future of cars might be over!

As matter of information the number of people killed in the WWII was 50m and the number of Russian killed was 23m (or 46%). These facts had been hidden from us during the cold war. Russian were the first to liberate Berlin. US and other forces arrived over a month later to avoid casualities. The number of American dead was 50,000. It was Russia that broke the backbone of Hitler's military. It was also the Russian army that liberated Jews from the biggest concentration camp in Poland before Hiler's army exterminated the remaining prisoners.
04:49 April 1, 2010 by texasgubbar
"Sweden has become the GOOD country it is today because they have always been very Americanized."

What a joke, thank god its not.

"on't seeme to understand that everything good in the last 150 years has been because of the USA."

much of what is bad has as well. BTW, not much that I use does actually come from the USA.

"No matter how good intentions were when the deal was signed yesterday, the conditions can change extremely quickly, especially for a company that gets its loans from banks controlled by a dictator regime,"

3 of the 5 worlds largest banks are Chinese, get used to it. American banks were the largest, that is until unbridaled capitalism and greed brought them down.
15:14 April 1, 2010 by spy
America is broken... And Americans are the dumbest race on earth.
16:34 April 1, 2010 by cilcsster
How sad to read most of these comments! Having purchased several Volvo cars in the past, I turned to VW, then Mercedes Benz, and finally to Honda.

Perhaps a lot of you Americans and Swedes also, might cultivate some close personal friends in China. You would no doubt find that they turned out to be some of your best friends. If and when Geely starts selling cars here in Canada, I will certainly try them out. I have continued to stick with China over most issues most of the time, and will continue to do so. I wish them the very best, and I wish Volvo in Sweden and/or China the very best also.
22:23 April 1, 2010 by americanska
texasgubbar - i don't really care if anything you use is MADE in america.

telephone, computer, car, train, modern agriculture(so your FOOD!) ....the internet

all started in the USA.

Audrien - How many Swedes dies in WWII - or did you wait for america to come save you. 11 million american men fought in WWII - maybe we shouldn't have supplied the allies and only fought japan. let you guys become Soviet or German....then you would love us?? No, you would still despise us because your envy.
22:26 April 2, 2010 by shoaib akram
Please ceasefire, America has seen its glory days, and now its the dawn of the east mainly China and other players around that region. America emerged as a sole super power after Russian demise and that destruction was triggered and financed by the US. Russian Empire collapsed under the economic burden that came onto them by fighting meaningless and lengthy war in Afghanistan. In early 80s to early 90s American companies were expanding and buying assets worldwide, now for the past 5 years the Chinese have started the global invasion. Look at the Chinese investments in Oil & gas and mining sectors in Africa and you will find a clear pattern they are following to be the global super power of the future.

@ Swedes, please don't blame Americans for selling volvo to Chinese, you guys should have taken up the responsibility, why Swedish government couldn't spend 1.8 billion dollars to save thousands of jobs and own the national symbol. or if you guys are really feeling it now then why can't 10 million swedes pool up 1300 kronors each and save the national pride. After all it appears to me that the national pride is more important for you than any other thing.

I suggested earlier last year that swedes should pool up the money to save the national Treasures and landmarks as well as avoid unnecessary burden on the economy (in terms of social payments in case of job losses).
22:42 April 2, 2010 by texasgubbar
"telephone, computer, car, train, modern agriculture(so your FOOD!) ....the internet"

taiwan, taiwan, germany, germany, ok us food, internet???, that is true only because its origins are as a military project as is GPS. Luckily for the world something good can be made from these military projects unlike others tillions of $$$ of metal baking in Arizona or sunk in the ocean. Except the titanium from useless military aircraft can be made into golf clubs, tennis raquets and skis. The one thing the us does well is military... But nothing that anyone ones that accesses the internet is made in the US.

Dont worry about the world learning Chinese, its an impractical language for written communication and they know it, hence Pinyin. There will soon be more Chinese speaking fluent english than people in the us. There probably already is, so dont feel that your english skill somehow makes the us exclusive in any way, no more than the ARABIC numerals everyone uses on a daily basis.

ARABIC??? I thought they only made bombs...
01:01 April 3, 2010 by Malmoman
The next 30 years will be interesting indeed.


I think Amerikanska was talking about the origins of these products...ie who invented them. A Scott-American invented the telephone...computers were largely pioneered by Americans, Germans, and Brits. The English can claim the train although the first subway system was built in Boston. Car goes to Germany. Digital photography was a couple of Americans and I believe a Japanese gentleman. TV was an American. the modern camera (debatable), Vulcanized rubber (very important), the transformer (extremely important), light bulb, air conditioning, the airplane (with significant help from others), the electric ignition, lots and lots of materials (ie Dupont), medicines up the ying yang, etc...

The list is just too dang long. Take a list at the Nobel list to get an idea. Sure many were Immigrants but who in the US is not an immigrant.

Now there is nothing wrong with hating the country of your birth, as you seem to display with every one of your comments. Denying it its rightful place in history is another matter altogether.

As far as China goes only time will tell where they will be in 20 years. There are a lot of variables. I wish them the best and welcome the competition.

There may very well be sour grapes from many people in the west and that is too bad.
02:29 April 3, 2010 by 247learning
Europeans are just jealous of America... therefore all these American bashing .. and boot-licking of the Chinese... No doubt the Chinese will be a significant power... but it is stupid for the Europeans to start placing their bids on China and start trampling America. Though Asia is benefiting from the rise of China.. we are at the same time wary of its increasing power because it is still a communist regime ..We had enjoyed many years of peace with America as the Superpower and really thankful of that...... She may have her flaws but at least they are more reasonable than the communist regime .. European Union is just BIG name but it cant even work as one...for they need America's help in bailing out Greece. .. why not ask the Chinese for help???

So for now we still prefer white to be the boss .. untill China becomes fully Americanized one day ....
04:41 April 3, 2010 by wenddiver
Thank God for the new world order. What is it?

America and other Democracies use a market based economy to provide the venue for er peoples talents in a competition with all who wish to compete.

China challengels on the grounds that a state controlled economy, with limited human rights, geared to military hegemony is more efficient.

This being a new world order is surely news to Germany, Japan, Italy and Russia, they unfotuneatly call it history. Thats exactly how the US beat her enemies in the past.

Let's hope China sticks to the old centralized economy plan! I think it was Wellington who said "They came on in the same old way, and we beat them in the SAME OLD Way.
10:10 April 3, 2010 by Malmoman

The idea that China is somehow more geared towards military hegemony doesn't hold much water when one looks at the military expenditures of the US. Half of all military expenditures in the world are made by the US.

The same case could be made about America protecting it's interests around the globe by using the word hegemony. This is certainly not an anomaly during the last 500 years with regards to world superpowers, and in some ways I cannot blame them.


What bank list are you looking at? You can see the latest rankings here. The UK is remarkable!



I did not know there was a race called Americans? Either way you are a class act.

I have studied with a lot of Chinese and many of them are really wonderful people! I remember talking to a fellow engineer and he stated that cheap labor was not a good long term strategy for China. It is in fact something else.

If you look at Germany, Japan, US, and UK you will get an idea what drives modern societies: Innovation. There are great engineers in every country, including China. Anyone can build big shiny new buildings and gleaming cities. However it remains to be seen whether the academic and military infrastructure can facilitate the kind of innovation that has come from the four examples above, and ultimately move them beyond there current predicament. I cannot think of a modern society where this has happened in a country that did not have a large amount of personal freedoms. Again I wish the Chinese all the best and I will welcome to the table! There is enough food at this table for everyone!
21:09 April 6, 2010 by spy
A race can be a group of people united or classified together on the basis of common history, nationality, or geographic distribution... So Americans can be described as a race.

And I think it is a little naive to think that innovation drives modern societies. What about wealth, democracy, access to natural resources, trade etc?
08:47 April 8, 2010 by dobermann
A stick always has two sides. France and UK f***ed africa, india, and other countries, now theyr people do the same in UK and France.

China was exploited as a cheap manufaturer and the world was happy, but when that small manufaturer grow up to international superpower, then firs world coutries start to complain. You got what you have deserved.
17:36 April 8, 2010 by mkvgtired
China still pegs its currency to keep its production costs artificially low. Look at what happened to google in China. China will buy up Western resources abroad and then nationalize domestic Western resources. When Sweden's investments in China are taken from them and China still owns their resources in Sweden all of you may be singing a different tune. Hopefully China will realize trading on an even 2-way street is more profitable than trying to strong-arm all of its trading partners. Only the future will tell.
09:16 April 9, 2010 by spy

A government managing its exchange rate is not unusual it happens everywhere. There are far more unethical practices that take place than this.

- China's treatment of Tibet

- Lack of freedom speech and media reporting or censorship of the internet

- Supression of religious beliefs

- Torture of prisoners and no judicial independence to ensure fair trials

- Death penalty (and the fact that people can be put to death for nonviolent crimes such as theft)

- AND eating the poor doggies
15:57 April 9, 2010 by mbe
As they always say it is lonely at the top! America has supported, protected and helped this planet out so much. So why when there are problems there does everybody like to bash it. Yes the great Republic is having its problems. Obama is spending money faster than it can be printed and the people that will suffer the most will be the kids who will have to pay for all of this.

If Volvo and Saab´s products were so good then Ford and GM would not try to sell it.. Look at this as basic as you want.. The product was not selling! No one wanted to own them. Dump it! Pure and simple a business move.. nothing against the companies, but it was losing money for Ford and GM!

As for an American living in Sweden I find this place to have so much antisemitism towards all. Sweden is just a little country trying to make a name for itself but the problem is no one cares about you!
13:56 April 13, 2010 by macgowans
@spy: "...Americans are the dumbest race on earth." Really? Americans are a race? I guess we ARE dumb since we weren't even aware, like YOU, that Americans are race unto themselves. I always thought of the term 'American' to suggest nationality, rather than race. Wow! Thank you for teaching us something new, spy! You truly are part of the master race!
20:49 April 13, 2010 by spy
A race can be a group of people united or classified together on the basis of common history, nationality, or geographic distribution... Glad you learnt something today.
20:50 April 13, 2010 by wenddiver
#38- The US does have a huge military budget, but most of itis spent on housing, salery, force deployment, re-tiree benefits, etc.

US bases are strategically deployed to cover any emergency, but the host countries maintain control.

Ask Tibet or Viet Nam how that works out with Communist China.

Let them into your country and see if you ever get it back.
12:22 April 14, 2010 by mark65
Well I said that they would somehow move. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Wait until they get this "cap and trade" back online then you are going to see all of Swedish industries moving to India or China. The New World Order are making the final push. Mark my words...........
00:33 April 15, 2010 by bezjaj
How can this ugly little man produce anything else then ugly little cars..
13:49 April 15, 2010 by Horace

How do you know he's little?
01:13 April 16, 2010 by bezjaj

Ugly big cars then,, even worse..look at their design and art. No changes for 1000 years.
23:28 April 18, 2010 by sophie2010
China is to be a super and potencial market for Volvo, I am confident that Volvo will definitely increase its sales.
22:32 April 19, 2010 by kunkun
@ bezjaj


can you define ugly? or are you ugly? or how ugly?

and also you can say :No changes for 5000 years. length of history is not a problem for China.

10:25 April 20, 2010 by alecLoTh
All I read here is emotional drivel. This is just another business deal. Its not the end of the world because you chose McDonalds instead of a kebab pizza for lunch.

If anything, this is a good chance for Sweden. When a huge new market opens there is a chance to get mind-share. A whole lot of Swedish products can then be sold to the Chinese, investment opportunities can be realised while their attention is geared towards Sweden.

People wanting success emulate the successful. So capitalize on this by marketing your business in China, some people in China definitely think this guy is making a good move and will want to copy him. This is not a one-off, Europe is desirable as a market for its currency amongst other things.

Carpe Diem
10:06 April 21, 2010 by Horace
I ask the question "What do you think of Volvo being owned by a Chinese company" in school and I only got 1 negative response out of the many Swedes that I have asked. I'm guessing most of the readers here are not Swedes and have a much different view.
13:17 April 27, 2010 by spy

Well I asked my dog and he wagged his tail - so effing what?
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