The latest reports out of Europe have Fordonce again moving closer to selling its Volvo subsidiary. Officially, Ford won't comment on a possible sales. With that in mind, here's a rundown of what those in Detroit, on Wall Street, and in the auto industry expect to happen.
1) Will Ford sell Volvo? I think so. While the company takes the official stance that "it's not for sale", make no mistake, Volvo will go if Ford gets the right price. CEO Alan Mulally's vision of Ford is slimming down the company to focus on the core Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury brands. So selling Volvo makes sense.
2) Possible buyers:The early reports of BMWhaving an interest in Volvo have cooled off and from the people I've talked with, I don't think BMW makes the move. Volvo is a great "complimentary" brand in the right portfolio, but I'm not sure who's portfolio fits right now That's why I think a private buyer is more likely.
3) What about Jaguar and Land Rover? Don't be surprised if these two are sold as a package deal. Again, Ford is downsizing, and unloading the struggling Jaguar unit (down 27 % this year) and a healthier Land Rover (flat year to date) will bring in cash while shedding two brands that have not delivered for Ford. Much like Volvo, I believe a private buyer will get both.
Bottom line: Ford's trimming the portfolio, and Volvo may be the next brand to go.
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