Further Reactions To Volvo Buyout Plans
Wednesday's announcement that Chinese car manufacturer Geely are making an offer to buy ailing former Swedish car brand Volvo has triggered mixed reactions here in Sweden. The centre-right government in Stockholm welcomed that fact that a decision on Volvo's future is underway, whereas the Volvo union is worried what will happen to the manufacturing base in West Sweden.
A decade after the Volvo Car Corporation was sold to US automaker Ford, the Swedish brand will once again get now owners. For several months now there were speculations that China's car manufacturer Geely would be among the most likely bidders for Volvo Cars, now these speculations have been officially confirmed. In an interview with Swedish Radio news, Ford CEO Lewis Booth expressed his hope that by selling its Swedish brand Volvo, Ford's own ailing economic situation will improve in the long run.
But worries among Volvo employees particularly in West Sweden are strong. As of today, it is not clear if the manufacturing base and headquarters in Sweden's second city of Gothenburg will survive the coming transition process. The head of the IF Metall union at Volvo, Mikael Sällström, has expressed his worries over Geely's bid, but the Swedish government in Stockholm seems a bit more optimistic. Speaking to the press late Wednesday afternoon, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt says he hopes that the new powerful owners will act with sustainability in mind. Reinfeldt also pointed out that the government will carefully evaluate if tax payers' money will be spent on helping restructuring Volvo - just like Sweden did in the Saab takeover by luxury car maker Koenigsegg.