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Volkswagen seeks to take over Scania

Volkswagen is seeking to acquire all shares in Swedish truck maker Scania, the German auto giant has announced, offering $9.2 billion.

Volkswagen seeks to take over Scania
File photo: Raymondo666/Flickr

"The offer mirrors our fundamental view of Scania's value, and the long term strategic potential of fully integrating Scania in the Volkswagen consortium," board chairman Martin Winterkorn said in a statement on Friday.

"Our offer is designed to create a sustainable and clear ownership structure for Scania," he said, adding that he was convinced the offer was "very attractive" for Scania's shareholders.

The board members of Scania spent much of Friday in a meeting, later confirming rumours of the bid to the Dagens Industri (DI) newspaper. 

Volkswagen already owns about 89 percent of Scania's voting rights and nearly 63 percent of share capital, the Wall Street Journal reported in early February when talk of a large-scale shares purchase began. The rumours have pushed the Scania share price up by 17 percent since New Year, DI noted. 

Volkswagen is telling shareholders of the outstanding stock it is willing to pay them 200 Swedish kronor ($36.84) per share, a premium of more than 50 percent that values the total offer at 6.7 billion euros.
 
Scania, which was founded in 1891 and has operations in more than 100 countries, boasts 38,600 employees. Around 16,000 work with sales and services across the company's subsidiaries, and over 12,000 work in production units.
 
The company has headquarters in the Swedish town of Södertälje, where almost 6,000 employees work. The headquarters also hosts the research and development operations, with 3,300 employees.

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CAR

This is the Swedes’ favourite car model (hint: it’s not a Volvo)

Sales of new cars in Sweden rose 7.9 percent last year, according to fresh figures. And for the first time in more than five decades, the car topping the list of most-sold models is not a Volvo.

This is the Swedes' favourite car model (hint: it's not a Volvo)
A Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A total of 372,296 new cars were registered in 2016, said Swedish automakers' association Bil Sweden. Truck sales rose by a whopping 15.3 percent, with 58,174 new trucks sold last year.

Perhaps surprisingly, the most popular model was not the iconic Swedish car Volvo, but rather a German Volkswagen. Its Golf model was Sweden's most sold car, racking up 22,084 sales.

It is the first time in 54 years a brand other than Volvo tops the list in Volvo's birth country. In 1962 Volkswagen's famous 'Beetle' was the most sold car in Sweden.

The last of the Volvo V70, Sweden's best-selling car for two decades prior to last year, rolled off the conveyor belt earlier this year and it seems the newer V90 has not yet found its place in Swedish hearts.

READ ALSO: Volvo bids farewell to Sweden's favourite car

However, it was not far behind. Volvo sold 21,321 of its V70/XC70/S90/V90, which are counted as one model in Bil Sweden's statistics, in 2016, second behind Volkswagen Golf. The company, which is owned by Chinese Geely, also held on to the largest market share, with four of its models in the top-ten.

The sale of so called 'super green cars' – vehicles with less than 50g/km carbon dioxide emissions – rose by 51 percent last year compared to 2015.

“Our forecast is that around 18,000 new super green cars will be registered in 2017, which represents a share of five percent of the total market,” said Bil Sweden's CEO Bertil Moldén.

In France meanwhile, sales of new cars breached the symbolic two-million threshold for the first time since 2011, according to the French automakers' association CCFA.

The most popular car models in 2016 (Bil Sweden)

1. VW Golf
2. Volvo V70II, S/V90N
3. Volvo S/V60
4. Volvo XC60
5. VW Passat
6. Volvo V40N
7. Toyota Auris
8. VW Polo
9. Kia Cee'd
10. Skoda Octavia