Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘volvo ford’

Volvo’s Radical New Powertrain Line-up Debuts

Maker dropping old Ford engines by 2015.

by on Jan.24, 2014

The 2015 Volvo V60 will debut the new Drive-E engines, as will the new S60 and XC60 models.

Hoping to establish itself as a significant player in the global luxury car market, Volvo is making an $11 billion investment in new products and the plants to build them – an aggressive and much-needed plan that puts a particular premium on an all-new line-up of advanced powertrains that Volvo promises will deliver both segment-leading mileage and world-class performance.

The first of the maker’s models equipped with the new Drive-E engine family are just beginning to roll into U.S. showrooms this month – and they mark the beginning of the end of the relationship between the Swedish-based company and Ford Motor Co. that began when the Detroit maker purchased Volvo Cars in 1999.

The Last Word!

But the powertrain program isn’t without its risks, Volvo officials acknowledge. Among other things, it will mean convincing upscale buyers who traditional equate displacement with desirability that a high-tech 4-cylinder engine can be as good, or better, than the six- and eight-cylinder powertrains that traditionally dominate the luxury market.

The goal is to create a family of “smaller, more intelligent engines that will turn the V -8 engine into a dinosaur,” proclaims Derek Crabb Volvo’s vice president of powertrain engineering.


Volvo S60 R-Design Bucks Classic – if Boring –Image

Niche car could broaden Swedish maker’s global appeal.

by on Aug.18, 2011

Volvo's S60 R-Design features the maker's most powerful production engine ever.

The new Volvo S60 R-Design isn’t for everyone.  In fact, with anticipated sales of less than 1,500 vehicles, the new model will barely show up on the sales charts.  Nonetheless, the Swedish maker is betting the most powerful model it has ever put on the street will surprise those who still think of Volvo as building nothing but safe, boxy and boring automobiles.

“The S60 R-Design is the next step for Volvo,” insists Frank Vacca, who serves as brand manager for the overall S60 line-up.

Stay in the Loop!

With its 325 horsepower inline-six, Volvo is targeting the R-Design at buyers who’ve traditionally ignored its products in favor of more performance-oriented brands like Audi and BMW.  If the company is right, the new model could begin to re-position Volvo as a more serious player in the global luxury market – and build demand for the company’s more mainstream products, as well.


Chinese Give Final Approval to Volvo Sale

Final obstacle gone, $1.7 bil deal now appears complete.

by on Jul.29, 2010

China has given approval to the purchase of Volvo from Ford by Geely, permitting the $1.7 bil deal to finally be completed.

With the approval of the Chinese government now in hand, it appears Ford Motor Co. and Geely Holding Group can consummate the sale of Swedish automaker Volvo.

The U.S. and Chinese firm agreed to the $1.7 billion deal in June but had to wait for government regulators in the U.S., Europe and China to give their approval before the transfer of Volvo could be completed. (See Li Shufu to Become Chairman of the Board at Volvo and Ford Takes Huge Loss on Volvo Sale to Chinese)

China’s Commerce Ministry gave what appears to be the final approval today, according to the Associated Press, which quoted an unnamed government official saying, “This was the final stage.  There are no conditions attached.”

News Now!

If so, the official transfer of Volvo could happen quickly, ending a decade-long effort by Ford to blend Volvo into its global product development process.  The goal yielded mixed results, with Volvo providing some of the basic platforms and safety technology that will continue to be used by Ford in the years ahead.  But the Swedish maker itself struggled under Ford’s stewardship and shortly after he joined the U.S. maker, four years ago, CEO Alan Mulally sent a rescue team to Volvo headquarters to try to turn things around – or set the company up for sale.


Q&A: Volvo CEO Doug Speck

Life under new management.

by on Apr.21, 2010

Volvo Cars North America CEO Doug Speck: an end to uncertainty.

There are few things more unsettling than uncertainty, but for the last year that was a way of life for the folks at Volvo Cars as they waited to see whether Ford Motor Co. would sell the Swedish brand and, if so, who would buy the company.  The answer came, recently, when Ford completed the sale of Volvo to the ambitious Chinese automaker, Geely.

For the moment, at least, Geely plans to operate its new subsidiary as an effectively independent brand.  But what the long-term plans and prospects are for Volvo remain to be seen.  Nonetheless, the future looks a fair bit brighter than it has for awhile, contends Doug Speck, the head of Volvo Cars North America.

Subscribe Now!

Speck is staying with Volvo as it switches from U.S. to Chinese ownership, formally terminating his ties to Ford, which he called his corporate home for 26 years. recently caught up with the executive and asked him about the sale and Volvo’s future prospects.