Volvo S60 delayed

Not a good piece of news: The new Volvo S60 production version won’t be paraded at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. This datum, along with other tidbits from the article linked, are worrisome for those who, like me, were rather looking forward to the prospect of seeing the sleek new incarnation of the superb S60.

Part of the delay may also have to do with Ford’s attempts to sell the Swedish brand. The leading bidder is rumored to be Chinese automaker Geely, but there is opposition in Sweden to Chinese ownership. Separately owned truckmaker Volvo is concerned about damaging the brand name if it falls into Chinese hands and there are also issues with intellectual property rights with technology shared by Volvo and Ford. This last issue is also a concern for GM and Magna’s bid to buy Opel with Russian backing. All of which serves to highlight the difficulty of trying to break up a large multi-brand automaker with shared technology.

This is a very important point and needs no saying on how big an issue this must be in the current economic climate. But shared platforms and technology aren’t a novelty. Citroën and Peugeot are part of the PSA Group, yet only Citroën uses the special Hydractive hydropneumatic technology. Ford and Jaguar share engines with Citroën and Peugeot, and they’re definitely not part of the same group. Is this a matter of servicing or a patent row on how shared technology will be developed separately?

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