Volvo Will not Follow Aston, Jaguar, Land Rover

by : Glady Reign

After recording a loss of $12.7 billion last year, the Ford Motor Company is looking at every possible solution to bolster its sagging financial coffers. Earlier this year, the company has already sold the ultra-luxury brand Aston Martin to a consortium led by Formula One team boss David Richards. Earlier this month, the two British brands Jaguar and Land Rover were also put into the auction block by the Dearborn-based car manufacturer.

While Jaguar and Land Rover are already being auctioned off, Ford claims that the Swedish brand Volvo will not be sold alongside the British brands. In fact, the company said that Volvo will not be for sale any time soon.

The announcement came at the manufacturing launch of the Ford Taurus. The company's top officials stated that Volvo is an integral part of Ford's operation now that selling it for immediate cash will not be beneficial for the car manufacturer.

"Volvo is pretty integrated into Ford right now," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas. Fields is currently heading the turnaround plan that Ford is pushing through to bring the company back to profitability. Before being tasked with that, Fields led the Premiere Automotive Group (PAG). PAG is the collection of European car brands acquired by Ford through the years. With his stint as the head of PAG, Fields knows which brand/s is/are beneficial to the company at this point in time.

Eighty percent of Aston Martin was sold earlier this year for $848 million as part of Ford's turnaround plan named the Way Forward. Aside from selling Aston Martin, and auctioning off Jaguar and Land Rover, the Way Forward also includes closing down of plants and workforce reduction. The company announced that the turnaround plan involves closing down 16 assembly facilities, elimination of 44,000 jobs and revitalizing the Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln nameplates.

Ford's Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said that the review of the two brands being auctioned off will be completed soon. According to experts in the field, the two British brands may fetch a price of as high as $8 billion.

As for Volvo, Fields said that they have been integrating the Swedish company in the core operations of Ford. The integration of the foreign brand to Ford is an effort to remake the image of Ford to make it a leader in car safety. It is known that Volvo vehicles with their are some of the safest cars in the world. With the collaboration between Volvo and all other brands under FoMoCo, safety is being promoted.

This integration is evident in the designing of the new Ford Taurus. Ford engineers looked for inspiration and help from the Swedish brand to make the Taurus a safe car. The result of the collaboration gave the Taurus a Top Safety Pick distinction from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In order for a vehicle to get that distinction, it needs to post "good" ratings in front, side, and rear crash protection. The Ford Taurus scored "good" ratings in all crash tests. The Taurus' safe car construction is made possible by the presence of crush zones integrated into the car. These crash zones are also being used by Volvo vehicles.

Fields summarized the company's position on the non-sale of Volvo by saying: "At the end of the day, you have to do what is right for the business."