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Volvo Begins Slow Tease of XC90 Reveal

Swedish maker shows off new crossover’s interior.

by on May.28, 2014

The all-new Volvo XC90 is getting a slow reveal from the Swedish maker. It's revealed the new interior in a series of photos, which will be followed by more information throughout the summer.

Swedish automaker Volvo kicked off the slow reveal of its update of its best-selling XC90 crossover by sharing photos of the interior of the car, which looked…well, Swedish thanks to tiny Swedish flags sewn into the seats.

The new interior is clean and simple. In the early photos released yesterday, the crossover will be swathed in leather and wood. It also features a prominent touch screen display in the center stack that will control a multitude of functions, including the maker’s new infotainment system. The XC90 is designed to accommodate seven passengers and it appears that it’ll do that just fine with seats that appear to recline for all passengers.

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The all-new XC90 is the first Volvo to use the company’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which allows the Swedish company to produce everything from sedans to coupes to this new crossover. This is the first vehicle created under the Geely regime, which bought Volvo from Ford a few years back. (more…)

Fiat Now Chasing Opel

Italian makers says it wants to buy - but does GM want to sell?

by on May.04, 2009

He's got the whole world, in his least Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne would like to, and he could come a lot closer if he gets GM's Opel subsidiary, as well as a planned stake in Chrysler.

He's got the whole world, in his least Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne would like to, and he could come a lot closer if he gets GM's Opel subsidiary, as well as a planned stake in Chrysler.

Already set to gain a major stake in bankrupt U.S. automaker Chrysler LLC, the Italian “white knight,” Fiat SpA, may be riding in to sweep up another troubled automotive venture, in this case, General Motors Corp.’s European subsidiary, Opel.

Though there’d been suggestions that Fiat might want to purchase a piece of German-based Opel, which GM was willing to sell to raise some much-needed cash, it now appears that Fiat’s global-minded CEO, Sergio Marchionne, could be looking to buy Opel lock, stock and carburetor barrel.

That raises a number of questions, for one thing, whether GM would walk away from Opel entirely, and if so, how would it survive without the vast European empire it had created over the last seven decades?   What would Fiat have in mind for Opel, and how would it integrate the operation into its own automaking empire?  Perhaps most importantly, how would the heavily debt-laden Italian maker be able to afford the acquisition, considering its own financial challenges?

A new statement, issued by the Fiat Board of Directors, in Turin, confirmed “its full support for the initiative to be undertaken, over the next few weeks, by its Chief Executive Officer, Sergio Marchionne, to assess the viability of a merger of Fiat Group Automobiles (including the interest in Chrysler) and General Motors Europe into a new company.”

The deal, the board statement declared, would create a global automotive behemoth, with approximately 80 billion Euros ($106.9 billion) in annual revenues.

Earlier this year, former GM CEO Rick Wagoner announced the automaker would consider selling a large, and possibly controlling stake in Opel in return for a European government bailout that would keep the troubled operation in business.  But until now, Wagoner, his successor, Fritz Henderson and other senior General Motors executives had said they would maintain at least a major, if not controlling stake.

“We are talking to them, amongst other parties,” CEO Henderson on Monday told the Associated Press, “Not solely Fiat, but several parties who have an interest in making investment in our European business.”  (more…)

Volvo Wants Swedish Government Loan Guarantees, Too

Along with bankrupt Saab, Ford’s Volvo needs help to survive.

by on Mar.04, 2009

Fresh cash, not a fresh grille, is Volvo's issue..

Fresh cash, not a fresh grille, is Volvo's issue.

“There is a lot of affection for the brand,” says Volvo’s President and CEO Stephen Odell to TDB, “that is what we feel and hear all around.”

Volvo’s generally positive image is big a help as the car maker talks to the Swedish government about loan guarantees of some 3 billion Swedish Crowns (about $328 million) from the European Investment Bank.

Any such financing also needs approval from the European Commission, adding another layer of bureaucracy to say nothing of the politics where lately individual countries have been accusing others of protectionism.

According to Odell, the Swedish Minister of Industry is willing to look into the matter. “It is not easy, but they have good advisers and they are smart people,” says Odell, who is also talking to the Belgian government, since Volvo has a production facility there

“We talk about how to get through the year without damaging the business. Belgium will cover 80% of the blue collar labor costs at the plant there. Today, the Swedish unions want to talk about other ways to reduce costs, such as shorter working time


Volvo’s Still for Sale…

But does anyone want to buy it?

by on Jan.30, 2009

Prize for a new owner? Volvo's new XC60

Prize for a new owner? Volvo's new XC60

You may not be hearing much from the rumor mill, now that reports that BMW wants to buy Volvo have been quashed, but the Swedish maker is still on the auction block, according to Alan Mulally, CEO of Volvo’s American parent, Ford Motor Co.

That’s probably no surprise considering Ford’s dire financial problems. Earlier this week, the automer announced it lost $5.9 billion during the fourth quarter and has now run up more than $26 billion in red ink over the last two years alone.

During a conversation with reporters, Mulally declined to discuss the Volvo situation in any detail, but noted, at one point, that the Swedish maker’s management team was concentrating on turning the business around and said that Volvo would follow through with the launch of the new XC60, under the Ford flag, as planned this spring. Mulally also indicated Ford would continue to support Volvo’s effort to upgrade its product line. A freshened version of the S80 will come to market later this year.