Volvo: A safe, quality brand for Geely

Alisa Roth Dec 9, 2009
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Volvo: A safe, quality brand for Geely

Alisa Roth Dec 9, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: Ford is still trying to figure out what it’s going to do with Volvo.
Geely, the Chinese car maker, seems interested. But Ford’s gotten a couple of other bids for the Swedish brand. What’s the appeal? We asked Marketplace’s Alisa Roth to take a look.


Alisa Roth: The lead bid is from the Geely. But a consortium of American investors is interested, and this week, a Swedish consortium said it is, too.

John Casesa is an auto analyst in New York, and he says the big draw is the Volvo brand itself:

John Casesa: It’s a recognized global brand name, it’s an upscale brand name and it absolutely owns a critical positioning in the auto industry — that’s safety.

Geely says it’s already lined up funding, and the company’s reportedly willing to pay around $2 billion for Volvo.

Erich Merkle is an auto industry analyst in Michigan, and he says for Geely, this is about more than just a name.

Erich Merkle: It would give them access to other markets outside of China, and it would also allow them to, say, fast-track the safety and quality of their vehicles back home in China.

China is the world’s biggest market for cars, and it’s kept growing, even as people stopped buying cars elsewhere. Ford is selling Volvo along with companies like Land Rover and Jaguar so it can concentrate on its own brand.

I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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