Geely already has some grand plans for Volvo when it finally takes over the Swedish brand known for safety. It’s a twist of irony for many as Chinese car companies are rather infamous for their iffy crash safety, thanks to the widespread publicity of how badly their dirty cheap models perform in crashes.
A new Volvo factory in China built by Geely will churn out about 300,000 cars per year for the Chinese market, while other Volvo factories around the world will help bring up the total annual output to a whopping 1 million cars! Yes, you can produce all you want but will you be able to sell all the cars you produce? Apparently this is their aim, to sell a million cars a year by 2013, up from 458,323 they recorded in 2008. That’s an increase of about double.
Our very own Volvo assembly plant in Malaysia produces the S40, V50 and the 2.5T variant of the S80 for the local market. The Malaysian plant exports the S40 and the V50 for sale in Thailand. Hopefully Volvo is being rewarded in terms of various incentives appropriately by our government, otherwise there’s just no point for manufacturers to come in and do anything here if the case studies all go wrong.
The other thing that’s bugging people is of course the possibility of Volvo just going down the drain after Chinese ownership. That seems to be what happened to Ssangyong, look where it is now post-SAIC ownership? On the verge of bankruptcy, recovery plan rejected by creditors, and there is even a lawsuit going on now involving Ssangyong hybrid technology being leaked and transferred illegally to SAIC.
Despite Ssangyong being owned by SAIC, as the Ssangyong hybrid tech was developed using some Korean state grants, the tech is registered as state-owned in Korea and cannot be shared without government approval.
Will something similiar happen to Volvo? Will it be siphoned dry and then left to rot, or does Geely have an actual plan to bring Volvo to new heights? A Geely spokesperson today assured that Volvo would be keeping the rights to its technologies but did say Geely would get the right to use those technologies.