Volvo looking for a partner in North America to produce vehicles with

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 25, 2012

Swedish automaker Volvo Car Corp. is looking for a partner in North America to produce vehicles with. Chinese firm Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. is now the owner of Volvo. In an interview, Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby said the company has to find a “proper solution in North America” in the medium term, which means about five to six years.

He said that since building a plant themselves isn’t a likely possibility, the company is hoping to find a partner that would help it to use a plant in North America.

Jacoby said that talks are ongoing with a “couple of” manufacturers but he didn’t name them. When interviewed at the Automotive News Europe World Congress conference in Monaco, Jacoby said that what they’re looking for is teaming up with a company that will share costs with them in the development of smaller cars.

Volvo wants to have an assembly plant in North America in order to get around its heavy reliance on the euro. Jacobo had said previously that the preferred partner would be in Mexico or the U.S. Volvo, which Zhejiang Geely purchased from Ford Motor Co. in August 2010 for $1.8 billion, aims to nearly double sales to 800,000 cars and sport-utility vehicles by 2020 from just 449,255 deliveries in 2011.

It is planning an $11 billion investment over the next several years, which include the construction of two auto plants and an engine factory in China. Jacoby said that Volvo is open to partner with anybody, including Fiat SpA, which he admits is “obviously one of the alternatives.” Since Fiat took over Chrysler, the Italian automaker has been active in the U.S. market.

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