Fleet News

Volvo denies VW merger speculation

VOLVO has poured cold water on speculation that it is in merger talks with the acquisitive Volkswagen Group. The Swedish car maker has confirmed that its chief executive, Leif Johansson, met Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech, but said meetings at this level between Volvo and other car makers took place on a regular basis.

Volvo sources VW's five-cylinder 20V turbodiesel engine for its S70/V70 range, and buys Renault diesel engines for its S40/V40 range. 'Our cross-co-operation with other manufacturers is already well established, and we want to grow it further. It's essential as an independent car maker,' said a Volvo spokesman. With no shareholder owning more than 10% of its stock, Volvo is vulnerable to a takeover, and speculation surfaces frequently about prospective new bidders.

Fiat, Renault and most recently Mitsubishi have all been in the frame, but merger talk is continually dismissed. Fleets can, however, expect to see further joint development projects between Volvo and Mitsubishi well into the new millennium. They already share the GDI engine in their Mitsubishi Carisma and Volvo S40/V40 models, which are both made at the same Dutch factory, and also sell each other's commercial vehicles.

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