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Volvo, Geely Lay Out Global Export Strategy

Stretched version of new S90 next on export docket.

by on Nov.02, 2016

Volvo and Geely are kicking off an ambitious plan to export more Chinese-built vehicles to the U.S., starting with the S90 built at its Daqing plant.

Volvo Cars and Chinese parent Geely plan to set in motion an aggressive expansion and export plan that could be the first in a wave of new, Chinese-made vehicles earmarked for the U.S. and Europe.

Their strategy is loosely modeled after the multi-brand approach of German giant Volkswagen AG, and will see the creation of a new entry-level brand, Lynk & Co. to anchor Geely’s global ambitions. Volvo is already importing a small number of stretched S60 sedans to the U.S., and will soon add a longer version of its top-line S90. Cars built by other Geely brands are set to follow.

Global Auto News!

“We have a strong manufacturing structure in China and we are geared up for further growth,” Hakan Samuelsson, the CEO of Volvo told reporters during a Shanghai news conference. (more…)

Chinese Automaker GAC Returning to Detroit Auto Show

Move could signal brand is finally ready to enter the U.S. market.

by on May.18, 2016

GAC Group announced it is returning to the Detroit Auto Show next year after a two-year absence.

Guanghzhou, the economic engine as well as the largest city in Southern China, is hoping its state-owned automotive company, the GAC Group, can use its clout in the Chinese market to move on to a larger stage.

That “larger stage” being the U.S. Many are looking at the return to Detroit as a precursor to selling vehicles here. If that happens, GAC will be the first company to do so.

Auto Show News!

“As we look to establish ourselves as a global brand we are optimistic we can gain more momentum following the announcements we will make this coming January in Detroit,” hinted Zeng Qinghong, vice chairman and president of GAC Group. (more…)

China’s Economic Crisis Working to Volvo’s Advantage

Swedish maker gets more control from Chinese parent.

by on Aug.24, 2015

A Volvo S60L sedan rolling down the assembly line at the maker's plant in Chengdu, China.

The financial turmoil in China is actually working to the advantage of Volvo Cars. The Swedish automaker, now owned by China’s Geely, is getting more control of key assets, such as its factory in Chengdu, as part of a deal valued at $356 million.

Volvo Cars executives said the decision to take control of its three joint venture operations in China will accurately reflect its growing presence in the Chinese  market . It also fixes the values of the assets in case of a merger or if they are put up as collateral for a major loan in the future, observers said.

Global Insight!

The downside is that Volvo is being hammered, like the rest of the auto industry, by the worst slowdown in the Chinese automotive market in two decades. The downturn could push Volvo to expand plans to export cars from China to the U.S. and other established markets.

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Volvo Will Build Top-Range S90 Sedan in China

Swedish automaker turning to China as export manufacturing base.

by on Nov.14, 2014

A current Volvo XC90 rolls down the assembly line at the maker's plant in Daqing, China.

The millennium had barely turned before the first Chinese automaker showed up at the Detroit Auto Show promising to begin exports to the U.S. “in a couple years.” A decade later, however, and American motorists are still waiting.

Ironically, it could take a Swedish automaker to finally make that vision come true. Well, make that a Swedish carmaker with a Chinese parent.

The Last Word!

Volvo has already indicated it may import a small number of stretched S60 sedans from its Guangzhou plant to the U.S. Now, however, the maker has confirmed that its planned flagship sedan will be produced at another facility in Daqing for export around the world.

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Volvo May Begin Importing Cars from China in 2015

S60L would target the U.S., while XC90 would be shipped to Russia.

by on Jun.17, 2014

Volvo recently unveiled a plug-in hybrid verson of the S60L at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show.

Volvo may soon become the first major automaker to start selling Chinese-made cars in the United States.

Now owned by Chinese domestic automaker Geely, Volvo is determined to reverse several years of slumping sales, even as it ramps up production at a new factory in Geely’s home town of Chengdu. The Swedish brand is in the midst of rolling out an assortment of new products and, according to a Reuters report, could begin shipping a long-wheelbase version of its S60 sedan to the U.S. by late 2015.

Beyond the Headlines!

Senior Geely and Volvo officials had hinted of their interest in exporting to the U.S. during a visit by TheDetroitBureau.com to the new Volvo Chengdu plant in 2013, but at the time they had not set a hard date on such plans.

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Volvo’s Chinese Fire Drill

New owner Geely hopes to ignite Volvo sales around the world.

by on Jun.21, 2013

Workers assembling a pilot S60L sedan at the new Volvo plant in Chengdu.

The assembly line creeps along at a glacial pace.  For the next few months, the workers at the sprawling plant on the outskirts of the Sichuanese capital of Chengdu will be carefully trained before the first cars actually roll into Chinese showrooms.

But eventually, if all goes according to plan, the factory will be running at a frantic rate.  Long little more than an after-thought in the global luxury market, Volvo Cars has ambitions to challenge more established brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Your Global Source!

At least, that’s the goal set by Geely which purchased the Swedish maker from Ford Motor Co. three years ago.  The ambitious Chinese conglomerate plans to invest at least $6 billion to rebuild Volvo, completely updating its product line-up and adding new plants to produce them, starting with the factory in Chengdu and another in China’s Northeast industrial belt.

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Geely Investing $11 Bil in Volvo

Plans to rapidly expand Swedish maker’s presence in China.

by on Apr.09, 2012

Geely Chairman Li Shufu and Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby.

Volvo is about to get a helping hand – a big one – from its Chinese parent, Geely Automobile Holdings, which plans to pump $11 billion into the Swedish maker.

According to a report in Wirtschafts Woche, the investment is intended to increase Volvo’s presence in the growing Chinese market.  Among other things, Geely wants to increase Volvo’s R&D, introduce new technologies and build a new engine plant.  Volvo is planning to migrate to a 4-cylinder-only powertrain strategy in the coming years.

Be in the Know!

“We want to revive Volvo and give the brand its strength back,” Geely Chairman Li Shufu told the German weekly.

Exactly where the money will come from is a matter of debate.  While Chairman Li made it sound like Geely will be raising the capital, Volvo Per-Ake Froberg told the Reuters news service that the Swedish maker will have to come up with the capital.

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Former Ford, Volvo Designer Peter Horbury Heading to China

Horbury will head styling for aspiring Chinese maker Geely.

by on Nov.02, 2011

Peter Horbury shown here at the 2006 unveiling of the Lincoln Mark S.

He’s already got plenty of stamps in his passport but Peter Horbury will soon add another as he trades Sweden for a new base in China.

The long-time director of design for Gothenburg-based Volvo, Horbury has been named the new styling chief for aspiring Chinese automaker Geely.  But he won’t entirely cut his ties to the land of the midnight sun, as he will also continue overseeing operations at Volvo, which was purchased by Geely in 2010.

In the Know!

The move underscores the global ambitions of the Chinese maker, considered one of the most promising of that country’s domestic brands.  While it is relying on Volvo as the spearhead in its worldwide assault the Geely Group clearly also wants to build up its original Chinese brand name, as well.

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