HANGZHOU, China --
Ford Motor Co.'s has named Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd., a privately-owned Chinese automotive company, as the preferred bidder for Volvo Car Corp.
Geely, having built one of the fastest-growing automotive car companies in China, will now embark on further detailed discussions with Ford, paving the way for a potential acquisition of Volvo that will ensure management independence at the famous Swedish brand.
The announcement follows extensive talks between Geely and Ford. Under the proposed transaction, supported by Chinese banks, Volvo's existing production and R&D facilities, union agreements and dealer networks would be maintained, while Geely would enhance Volvo's access to sales networks and sourcing opportunities in the important Chinese market. The strategy would be led by an independent Volvo management, headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Li Shufu, chairman of Geely, said: "We are delighted with the progress of our discussions with Ford. Should a final agreement be reached, Geely will safeguard and strengthen Volvo's world-renowned brand heritage, ensuring its continued leadership as a premium car company with a global reputation for safety and environmental technologies."
By strengthening Volvo's presence in China, a potential Geely transaction would create major new opportunities and synergies in all business aspects for Volvo in this rapidly expanding market.
Li added, "This is an important strategic step for Geely, signaling our commitment to Volvo's presence in more than 100 markets around the world and building on our strengths in the Chinese car industry."