Following reports late last month that a final agreement would be reached in early August, China's Geely has today announced that it has completed its purchase of Volvo Car Corporation from US carmaker Ford.
Standing as China's biggest ever overseas automotive purchase, Geely has paid US$1.8 billion for the Volvo Cars brand and assets (roughly a third of what Ford paid for the company in 1999), which includes a USD 200 million note, with the balance paid in cash.
The sale comes as Volvo reports an AU$58 million profit on global sales in the second quarter of 2010, up from an AU$263 million loss for the same period last year.
Geely also announced that current Volvo CEO Stephen Odell will become CEO of Ford of Europe, with Volkswagen US boss Stefan Jacoby stepping in as the new CEO at Volvo Cars.
"I am honoured to join a company with the prestige and growth potential of Volvo," Mr Jacoby said.
"Our employees, suppliers, dealers - and above all our customers - can be confident that Volvo will preserve its special status as the industry leader in vehicle safety and innovation - even as it pursues new market opportunities."
Jacoby will join the board of Volvo Cars, chaired by Li Shufu, Chairman of Geely Holding Group. The board will comprise several new directors including Hans-Olov Olsson, a former President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars and a former Chief Marketing Officer of Ford, who will become Vice-Chairman of the board.
Ford and Volvo will continue as technology partners, with the American carmaker drawing on co-developed safety systems and Volvo utilising Ford's engine range.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will continue to cooperate on projects already underway, with Volvo remaining a separate company with its own Sweden-based headquarters.
Speaking with TMR today, Volvo Car Australia Public Affairs Manager, Laurissa Mirabelli confirmed that operations at Volvo will continue as normal, the company's current success a clear sign that the formula is right.
From Volvo's perspective it will be business as usual on all fronts. Volvo will remain a Swedish brand with its headquarters and Board remaining in Gothenburg and its manufacturing plants continuing in Sweden and Belgium," Ms Mirabelli said.
"Volvo's core values of safety, environment, quality and Scandinavian design are supported by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and will be preserved in future."
"This is an exciting time for Volvo, which has a new owner, a new CEO and a new direction."
Geely has also confirmed that Volvo will retain its European production lines, with the support of Volvo labour unions in Europe.