June 22, 2012 / 2:18 AM / 6 years ago

Volvo eyes partner for North American cars: report

(Reuters) - Swedish automaker Volvo Car Corp, owned by Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co GEELY.UL, is looking for a partner to build vehicles in North America, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing an interview with Volvo’s chief executive.

Volvo's corporate logo is seen on the rear hatch of a Volvo C30 in a showroom near the Volvo Car Corporation Headquarters in Gothenburg May 20, 2010. REUTERS/Bob Strong

“In the medium term, five to six years, we need to find a proper solution in North America,” Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby was quoted as saying in the interview.

Building a plant itself is less likely, Jacoby told Bloomberg, adding that “I’m looking for a partner that could help us utilize a North American plant.”

The car maker is talking to a “couple” of manufacturers, Jacoby told Bloomberg but declined to name them.

Volvo is “open to everybody” as a partner, including Fiat SpA FIA.MI, Jacoby told Bloomberg.

A Volvo spokesman confirmed to Reuters that Jacoby had made those statements when speaking with Bloomberg at the Automotive News Europe World Congress conference in Monaco.

Zhejiang Geely bought Volvo from Ford Motor Co (F.N) in August 2010 for $1.8 billion, well below the $6.5 billion the Michigan automaker paid for Volvo in 1999.

The United States remains Volvo’s biggest market. Last year, Volvo sold 67,273 cars in that market, an increase of 25 percent from the previous year. Sweden is its second-largest market and China the third, but fastest-growing, market.

Reporting by Ben Klayman and Bernie Woodall in Detroit and Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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