Ford Denies Reports of Volvo Sale

by : Shane Morgay

News on the possible sale of Ford's Swedish subsidiary is raging on. And in response to reports circulating in Europe that Volvo is for sale, Ford has released a statement last Monday refuting all reports saying that it is not involved in any negotiations to sell its Sweden-based unit. It added however, that the company is at the moment exploring all profitable options.

According to spokesman Tom Hoyt "As part of that continuing review, we're looking at everything and have not ruled anything out. No decision has been made."

Ford has also confirmed that it has in fact hired financial advisers to help find a profitable offer for Jaguar and Land Rover not including Volvo the producer of . Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo forms Ford's Premier Automotive Group.

Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity firm that would soon owned Chrysler Group was reported to have expressed its interest in Jaguar and Land Rover but Cerberus has not confirmed such reports.

George Magliano, an automotive research director for industry forecaster Global Insight said, Jaguar won't likely attract top dollar because the brand just doesn't have the luster anymore. On the other hand Volvo is a more attractive item since it has a solid safety reputation and has three brand new models that are scheduled to come out this year.

He also added that Ford have to start selling the things that people want. "If they could get the price they want for Jaguar, they would have sold it by now."

Private equity group including Cerberus Capital Management buyer of the 80 percent stake in the Chrysler Group from DaimlerChrysler AG has reportedly expressed their interest in buying Jaguar and Land Rover but Cerberus has not yet confirm such reports.

Ford has also refused to give comments on their individual brands for sale but analysts believe that Volvo is the most profitable of the three brands while Jaguar remains to be the biggest money-losing brand among the PAG. Ford's premium group has lost $327 last year but was able to earn $402 million on a pre-tax basis for the first quarter.

Ford has earlier unloaded a former premier group unit last March by selling its boutique sports-car maker Aston Martin to a group of investors headed by British auto-racing champion David Richards for $848 million.

Jim Hossack, Vice-President of industry forecaster AutoPacific said that despite the need of Ford for cash, he is in doubt that the selling of PAG is a sure thing since the Ford's board could decide to hang on to at least some of the brands if the offers are not that good.