Chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, Li Shufu, left, and executive vice president and chief financial officer of Ford, Lewis Booth, shake hands in front of a Volvo S60 car in the Volvo Hall at the Volvo plant and headquarters in Torslanda, Gothenburg, Sweden, yesterday. (Reuters)

The China Post – Chinese car maker Zhejiang Geely Holding has officially  signed a deal on Sunday to buy the troubled Volvo brand from U.S. auto giant Ford, China’s state media reported.

The deal was sealed at a ceremony at the Volvo headquarters in Sweden, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Ford announced in December that it had agreed on the main terms of the sale of its loss-making Swedish subsidiary Volvo Cars to Geely, one of China’s largest private automakers, for a reported US$2 billion.

The deal will bring to an end Ford’s decade-long association with the premium Swedish brand, known for its sturdy, family-friendly cars.

Volvo unions had earlier voiced opposition to the deal on grounds that it was vague on expansion plans and possible layoffs.

Three Volvo unions this week pressed for details “on the capital that will finance Volvo’s daily activities, investment on future projects and the production target of 600,000 vehicles by 2015.”

Volvo unions had earlier voiced opposition to the deal on grounds that it was vague on expansion plans and possible layoffs.

Three Volvo unions this week pressed for details “on the capital that will finance Volvo’s daily activities, investment on future projects and the production target of 600,000 vehicles by 2015.”

But on Saturday they pronounced themselves satisfied.

“We have received all the information that we were looking for,” Glenn Magnusson, head of the Ledarnas union, told Sweden’s TT news agency after two meetings with U.S.-based Ford and Geely management in Gothenburg on Saturday.

“As far as the unions are concerned, we are in favor of the agreement.”

Magnusson did not provide details on the talks with management, saying he and his colleagues from other unions had signed a confidentiality agreement.

Asked whether the Chinese company had given a guarantee that jobs would remain in Sweden, Magnusson said, “we have obtained a response to our questions.”

Volvo has 22,000 employees worldwide, including 16,000 in Sweden.

Ford Motor Company announced in December that it had agreed on the main terms of the sale of its loss-making Swedish subsidiary Volvo Cars to Geely, one of China’s largest private automakers, for a reported two billion dollars.

The deal will bring to an end Ford’s decade-long association with the premium Swedish brand, known for its sturdy, family-friendly cars.

Ford had said it anticipated “a definitive sale agreement will be signed in the first quarter of 2010, subject to appropriate regulatory approvals.”

Geely reportedly secured the financing needed for the purchase earlier this month, which the Financial Times valued at about US$1.8 billion.

The newspaper said more than a billion would be loaned by the European Investment Bank and the Swedish and Belgian governments.

The Swedish media had questioned the ability of Geely, a relatively young player, to finance the takeover.

The deal was a “leap in the dark,” said the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, the day after the accord was announced.

But Svenska Dagbladet said Saturday that Geely’s chairman had given guarantees that all research and development activities would remain in Sweden and that production would first be assured by plants in Sweden.

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping is due in Sweden this weekend but according to the Volvo spokesman, there are no plans for him at the moment to visit the company headquarters.

Geely boss Li earlier told China’s Xinhua news agency that the Volvo bid was related to a “new energy powered vehicle,” which he described as “the future of the world’s auto industry.

But on Saturday they pronounced themselves satisfied.

“We have received all the information that we were looking for,” Glenn Magnusson, head of the Ledarnas union, told Sweden’s TT news agency after two meetings with U.S.-based Ford and Geely management in Gothenburg on Saturday.

“As far as the unions are concerned, we are in favor of the agreement.”

Magnusson did not provide details on the talks with management, saying he and his colleagues from other unions had signed a confidentiality agreement.

Asked whether the Chinese company had given a guarantee that jobs would remain in Sweden, Magnusson said, “we have obtained a response to our questions.”

Volvo has 22,000 employees worldwide, including 16,000 in Sweden.

Ford Motor Company announced in December that it had agreed on the main terms of the sale of its loss-making Swedish subsidiary Volvo Cars to Geely, one of China’s largest private automakers, for a reported two billion dollars.

The deal will bring to an end Ford’s decade-long association with the premium Swedish brand, known for its sturdy, family-friendly cars.

Ford had said it anticipated “a definitive sale agreement will be signed in the first quarter of 2010, subject to appropriate regulatory approvals.”

Geely reportedly secured the financing needed for the purchase earlier this month, which the Financial Times valued at about US$1.8 billion.

The newspaper said more than a billion would be loaned by the European Investment Bank and the Swedish and Belgian governments.

The Swedish media had questioned the ability of Geely, a relatively young player, to finance the takeover.

The deal was a “leap in the dark,” said the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, the day after the accord was announced.

But Svenska Dagbladet said Saturday that Geely’s chairman had given guarantees that all research and development activities would remain in Sweden and that production would first be assured by plants in Sweden.

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping is due in Sweden this weekend but according to the Volvo spokesman, there are no plans for him at the moment to visit the company headquarters.

Geely boss Li earlier told China’s Xinhua news agency that the Volvo bid was related to a “new energy powered vehicle,” which he described as “the future of the world’s auto industry.



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