Chery Gets Approval to Buy Volvo?

There must be some truth about the rumors after all. The increasing speculation about more Chinese based car manufacturers taking interest in Ford’s Volvo got another boost yesterday, as sources say that China’s top economic planner approved Chery Automobile’s plan to buy the Swedish company. Of course, Chery officials are yet to confirm the news.

Almost a month ago, Yin Tongyao, Chery Auto CEO expressed its company interest into acquiring a troubled European brand. Even if he didn’t name any such company, suspicions about Tongyao’s target fell on Volvo. "The company might be making some big moves in 2009. Chery has been in touch with several European auto brands including Volvo," a source reportedly told Reuters in mid February.

Alongside Chery, three other Chinese companies seem to have joined the fight for Volvo. Geely Automobile Holdings, Changan Automobile and Dongfeng Motor Group are supposed to have taken interest in the European manufacturer. The first of the three, Geely Automobile Holdings, denied last Wednesday its interest in the purchase.

Dagens Industry business daily said the parties interested into buying Volvo could submit their bidding sometimes in April. With all the rumors concerning a potential buyer flooding the market, Volvo officials grow inpatient. They've asked their mother company to make the process of the sale quicker.

“Whatever the decision, be it change of owner or to keep, we need to decide quickly because it is disruptive,” Steve Odell, Volvo CEO, said in Geneva.

Chery Automobile is the largest independent Chinese auto manufacturer and its ties with Ford go back some time, as the manufacturer’s first factory was fitted with machines and engine technology purchased from Ford Europe.


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