Blog: Simon WarburtonSwedes tuck in to Chinese

Simon Warburton | 2 August 2010

News of today's (2 August) takeover by Chinese automaker Geely of Volvo for US$1.8bn will doubtless come as a huge relief to the Swedish manufacturer's many thousands of employees.

I have no idea how many Swedes holiday in China or even vice-versa but Volvo has been providing the foundations for greater understanding of its new owners, by laying on lessons around Chinese culture.

A Volvo spokesman in Sweden said to me today that a team had been established "working with Volvo employees to talk about China and how to do business there."

Quite what this entails is anyone's guess but there's bound to be a fair amount of cultural differences to necessitate some Chinese coaching.

Whether this extends to Chinese employees learning Swedish is not known, but the negotiations to purchase Volvo from Ford were certainly in English.

The capacity of Swedes to speak fantastic English is a constant source of amazement, but even those renowned linguists might find Mandarin quite a challenge.


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I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....



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