Volvo to spend 6 billion pounds over coming years

STOCKHOLM/FRANKFURT Thu Apr 5, 2012 12:23pm BST

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STOCKHOLM/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Swedish carmaker Volvo (VOLVb.ST), owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd, plans to spend $11 billion (6 billion pounds) on developing new products and boosting its manufacturing footprint in the next few years, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, German magazine Wirtschaftswoche said Geely would invest the money, but spokesman Per-Ake Froberg said that funding would come from Volvo itself and include financing from cash flow and borrowing.

"It is not Geely investing $11 billion," he said.

Geely took over Swedish premium brand Volvo from Ford Motor Co (F.N) in 2010 in China's largest overseas auto acquisition, reflecting the country's rapid rise in the sector.

In a Reuters interview in February last year, Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby said a five-year $10-11 billion investment plan would mean new products and factories in China to meet the goal of doubling sales to 800,000 units in 10 years.

It wants 20 percent of China's premium auto market by 2015.

The Wirtschaftswoche article quoted Geely president Li Shufu saying Volvo would use the money to build a new engine factory, beef up research and development and upgrade technology.

Volvo and Geely Automobile Holdings (0175.HK), also owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding, will also pool purchasing of parts and components and jointly develop small engines and technologies for electric vehicles, Wirtschaftswoche reported.

"We want to revive Volvo and give the brand its strength back," Shufu told Wirtschaftswoche.

Geely will develop a new premium brand for the mass market in China using Volvo technologies but the new brand will later be placed under Geely Automotive.

Volvo plans to increase Chinese deliveries to about 200,000 by 2014 from 47,000 last year, the magazine said.

(Reporting By Andreas Cremer in Frankfurt and Simon Johnson in Stockholm; Editing by Alistair Scrutton, James Jukwey and Helen Massy-Beresford)

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