BELGIUM/SWEDEN:  Volvo asks Flanders for funding

Volvo Cars boss Stephen Odell, turned down for loan guarantees by the Swedish government, has now asked the Flemish government to support the company's loan application to the European Investment Bank.

Odell wants government-backed guarantees for EIB loans worth EUR200m (US$260m).

The Swedish government said it wouldn't back Volvo's case while parent Ford was still undecided about Volvo's future.

The automaker's factory in Ghent, Belgium, is in the Flanders region of the country. Odell told reporters that a loan guarantee from the Flanders administration could influence future decisions on where cars are built and developed although he stressed that Volvo would always remain in Sweden.

"The opportunities in Belgium are greater in the short term. They also have a more flexible system that increases capacity to retain more employees," he added.