Li Shufu, founder of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group who is purchasing Volvo from FoMoCo, said Sunday that the Swedish brand is a tiger that needs be freed.
“A tiger belongs to the forest. It belongs to the wild world and not confined in a zoo. We need to liberate this tiger,” Li said at the signing of the agreement in Volvo’s home town of Gothenburg.
Li said that Volvo has been long relying on Europe for production and on Europe and North America for sales. To address this, Li said his company is planning a factory in Beijing that will produce 300,000 units annually. The figure is about the same the automaker produces annually at its plants in Sweden and Belgium.
Li said that while European factories are the “heart” of the Volvo tiger, “its power should project it throughout the world.”
“I see China as one of the markets where Volvo could show us it has the opportunity to liberate itself and show the potential that is has. That is the rational for the deal,” Li said. “We want to stabilize the brand in the traditional markets of Europe and North America and, at the same time, develop our business in emerging markets including China.”
Geely will pay Ford $1.8 billion ford Volvo. $1.78 billion will come in cash and the remaining $200 million in a note.
– By: Kap Shah
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)