Volvo sale nearing completion

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All the talk of General Motors Co. division sales woes has allowed Ford Motor Co. to quietly work on a final deal with China’s Geely for the Volvo brand.

Sources say the sale should be wrapped up in the first or second quarter of 2010. Geely was chosen as the preferred bidder in October.

“All substantive commercial terms relating to the potential sale of Volvo Car Corporation have been settled,” Ford said in a statement yesterday.

The car company said additional work on financing and government approvals is still needed before the sale can be finalized.

Unlike GM, which has had a very difficult time ridding itself of its Swedish brand, Ford and Geely have quietly hashed out terms of the deal for Volvo over the last few months.
It is not known how much Geely is paying for the brand but auto analysts have pegged the sale price around US$2 billion.

Ford made the decision to shed Volvo in 2008 when Detroit-based automaker said it wanted to focus on three core brands: Ford, Mercury and Lincoln. It had purchased Volvo in 1999 for US$6.45 billion and spent roughly 10 years sharing technology and engineering amongst the brands.

“If a final purchase agreement is signed, as a world famous Swedish car brand, Volvo will continue to lead the trend of world auto technology in safety and environmental protection, and will quickly increase its unique competitive status in the Chinese market,” Geely said in a statement.

- with files from The Canadian Press