The Volvo C70
Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) — Ford Motor Co. said it may sell its Volvo unit, the company’s sole remaining European brand, a day before the automaker is scheduled to present a survival plan to U.S. lawmakers.
The review of options for Volvo was spurred by the worldwide auto decline and probably will take several months, Ford said today in a statement. Shedding the Swedish unit would complete the unwinding of a two-decade strategy of diversifying by buying European luxury brands. Volvo, acquired in 1999 for $6.4 billion, was retained after a similar evaluation last year.
Related article: Volvo and Saab ask Sweden for aid
Ford, General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC are to present plans tomorrow demonstrating why they should get $25 billion in U.S. financial aid and that they can be viable businesses. Volvo was once central to a failed strategy by Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford to reap a third of its profits from luxury autos in 2006.
“All of these businesses are being forced to reveal their hand,” said Maryann Keller, an independent auto analyst and consultant in Greenwich, Connecticut, in an interview. “Ford can put Volvo up for sale, but there aren’t going to be any buyers. It may come down to the Swedish government taking it.”