According to a news wire story from Reuters, which picked it up from a Swedish newspaper, which got the news from an un-named Ford source, Ford is considering selling Volvo, and BMW is kicking the tires.
Uh, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
Ford doesn't report the Volvo financials separately, but the industry guess is that Volvo is probably the most profitable of the Euro-luxury brands. Volvo is also a leader in automotive safety technology, with a valuable portfolio of intellectual property. They are also a leader in environmentally friendly carmaking, another priority for Ford.
Would Ford really keep money-pit Jaguar and sell Volvo? And why would BMW want Volvo, after their sour experience with Land Rover? I am not sure I see how Volvo fits into BMW's portfolio--BMW's cars are sportier, and every bit as safe. They overlap considerably in price.
According to the news article, Ford could gain as much as $9 Billion on a sale of Volvo. That's a nice chunk of change, but then what? Ford would be left with a real hole in their product line-up, with no credible competitor to European luxury brands, with Jaguar being weak and too far upscale and Lincoln not yet a credible threat.
Man, those college professors and Vermont commies are gonna be pissed--BMW isn't what most of them would call a progressive company.