We all know Ford has had some recent high-profile sales, including Hertz Car Rental, Aston Martin and now Jaguar & Land Rover. Ford Motor has also mortgaged its assets [including factories and even the trademarked blue oval logo] to the tune of $23 billion. Ford is also looking to close 16 plans in North America and pare its workforce down by the tens of thousands in an effort to return to profitability. In the last two years, Ford has losses of $15 billion.
Once Jaguar & Land Rover are in Tata Group’s hands, Ford won’t be selling anything else anytime soon. Volvo, once on the auction block, won’t be for sale in the near term for a variety of reasons. While we like to think that Ford’s adoration of Volvo’s engineering, shown in the use of Volvo-derived platforms in the Taurus/500, Montego/Sable, Freestyle/Taurus X as well as the use of a Euro Ford platform for the S40, is the cause for about face, there are other issues.
Private equity interest in Volvo, which would have yielded favorable prices was deflated with credit crunch issues. Also, Volvo has not been profitable in 2007. Ford is likely planning on further developing Volvo to a saleable state.
Some have speculated that Ford will be diverging Volvo from other Ford platforms, further driving sales speculation. Regardless, it would be a shame to see Ford let go of Volvo.
Source: International Herald Tribune