Dave Leggett | 16 July 2007
Is Volvo Car Corporation, the jewel in Ford's PAG crown, really for sale? I think the answer to that is yes, but you might struggle to work that out from today's media reports and official denials coming out from Ford PR people (but look closely at what they say). The message that has gone out, informally perhaps, is that Ford will listen to offers (is there much difference between 'all options are open' and 'we'll listen to offers'?). And there are certain to be a few firms interested in Volvo.
There's still no guarantee of an eventual sale and nothing has been formally decided, but if you rock up to Dearborn with a chequebook in hand you'll get a good hearing.
Given the secret squirrel nature of these things, Ford's PR people would likely not even know if initial discussions with potential suitors were taking place. The status of such discussions is a grey area and they will be top secret at first. Ford doesn't really have to come clean publicly until things have moved on a bit. If Carlos Ghosn is on the phone with Alan Mulally/Mark Fields, I'd guess they aren't talking about the weather. But don't expect anything to be public until a deal is more or less done.
Apparently, AB Volvo is enjoying a share price surge as people confuse the truck/heavy engineering outfit with Ford's Volvo Cars unit. Gotta laugh at that one. Or do people think that AB Volvo is a potential bidder and will be better off with VCC back under its wing? No, surely not...
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