After Ford announced that it will sell Volvo to Geely, many have raised concerns on the future health of the Swedish carmaker. As a response, Li Shufu, founder and chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, parent of Geely Auto says that Volvo’s current production, R&D facilities, union agreements and dealer networks will all be left intact, quotes a Reuters report.

“If the deal succeeds, nothing will change for Volvo, except the boss turns to Li Shufu,” the head honcho told Xinhua news agency. “Volvo and Geely will be two independently-managed brands.”

He said the Volvo purchase would help Geely, which is China’s largest private automaker, develop “new energy vehicles”, and that Geely would help Volvo reduce production costs and expand in China. “The new energy-powered vehicle will be the future of the world’s auto industry. But based on current investment in research and development, China will be left far behind the pace of developed countries,” the 46-year old Li said.

Ford expects the deal, which is estimated to cost Geely $1.8 billion, to be signed in the first quarter of 2010. Ford paid $6.45 billion for Volvo in 1999.