Volvo Cars and its Chinese owners Geely have different ideas on how best to market the Sweden-based firm’s models in China.
Geely chairperson Li Shufu wants to see large, luxury vehicles which is not part of Volvo’s plans for China.
Li aired his opinions in the Chinese state-owned Securities Times (ST) newspaper, the first time the Chinese owners have publicly expressed an opinion distinct from their Swedish subsidiary.
According to Li, Volvo Cars maintain that large cars require more fuel and more material to manufacture, and argue that the global car industry is developing towards more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly models.
Li Shufu appeared unruffled by the differences of opinion, arguing that they will be solved given time and would lead to an improvement in coordination between the firms, while he is reported to have expressed criticism in his interview.
Any connection between Li’s criticism and the resignation of Magnus Jonsson, head of Volvo’s product development, has been rejected by Jonsson in a comment to the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) daily.
Volvo Cars has not issued a response to Li Shufu’s comments.
“We have not had it confirmed from Li Shufu directly. We have sent an email to Geely, but have not received an answer,” said Volvo Cars’ Olle Axelson to GP.