GEELY STEPS UP INTEGRATION OF VOLVO

Geely Automobile has set up a committee to facilitate communications with Volvo in one of its first concrete steps at integration since Geely’s parent bought the Swedish carmaker from Ford earlier this year.

Geely and Volvo will each send four people to the nine-member committee, chaired by Geely founder and chairman Li Shufu, a company statement said.

Members of the committee will meet twice a year to discuss a wide range of issues, including marketing, manufacturing and new product development.

Chairman Li welcomed the establishment of the dialogue and cooperation committee: “This forum echoes our strategy of ‘Geely is Geely, Volvo is Volvo’. Discussion will be carried out on an equal footing, with an aim to make the best of Volvo’s cutting-edge technology in safety and environmental care and Geely’s insights for the China market and customers. I am confident in the synergy and a win-win result.”

Volvo’s Jacoby, a former top Volkswagen executive, said: “This mechanism will help us better envision our future in China and seize the momentum of fast expansion here. We want to enhance the competitiveness of our brand and market share here so as to grow China into the second home market for Volvo.”

As part of its effort to restore Volvo to long-term profitability, Geely may build as many as three plants in China to make cars under the Volvo brand, Li said in September.

Geely Holding Group agreed in March to buy Volvo from Ford for $1.3 billion in cash plus a $200 million note.

Volvo is a niche brand in China, with sales of 22 700 units in the first nine months, according to J.D. Power. Only two Volvo models, the S40 and S80L, are built by a Ford joint venture in the southwest Chinese city of Chongqing.

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