For the past couple of years, Volvo has been making strides in the field of design, technology, electric mobility, and of course, safety. They have been posting higher year on year sales for the past five years and their customer base has been expanding as well. But ten years ago, Volvo was in dire straights, hemorrhaging money and almost closed their doors for good.
The year was 1999 and Volvo's previous owner, the Ford Motor Company, bought the Swedish automaker to expand their product portfolio, as well as invest in safety innovations. They were part of the Premier Automotive Group (PAG) which was supposed to be the luxury arm of Ford at the time. However, things didn't pan out and the global recession of 2008 didn't help matters either. By 2010, massive losses led Ford to sell Volvo after 11 years under their wing. This is where Geely stepped in.
Geely bought the entire passenger car arm of Volvo for $1.2 billion and there were skeptics about the move. At the time, there were pundits saying that the Volvo brand will be diluted under Chinese ownership. Volvo and Geely silenced the critics when the latter said that they will still give the Swedish company free reign over product development. Volvo then restructured the entire line-up, introduced an all-new modular platform, and began more development of hybrid and electric powertrains.
The first Volvo under Geely's management was the second-generation V40, followed by the redesigned XC90, S90, V90, and V90 Cross Country. Most recently, they introduced the S60, V60, and XC60. Last year, Volvo sold over 700,000 cars and crossovers worldwide which is more than they ever have in over 90 years.
There's no denying then that Volvo has flourished under Geely's ownership. It's also been beneficial for Geely as well and some of that Volvo DNA can be found in cars like the Coolray and Azkarra.
Earlier this year, Geely and Volvo announced that both are taking steps to form a merger. There are little details about the move, but it looks like both are on mutual terms. Given the relationship between the two, and it's more than likely that it will be happening this year.