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Volvo sale to Geely to be completed this summer

Ford is still expected to sign an agreement to sell Volvo to China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group by the end of this month according the Swedish brand’s British boss, Stephen Odell.

Volvo expects to finalise a deal by March 31 and complete the sale by June 30.

Odell added that he expects engineering and manufacturing to remain in Europe into the future. He said: "I'm sure Geely will add manufacturing facilities for us in China which will boost opportunities for us in what has become the largest car market in the world."

While the wait for the deal to be finalised continues Odell said that global sales in the first two months of this year were up 27% over the same period a year ago. "We still have some down-time in production but we are starting to fill that.

"We have not really seen much benefit from scrappage schemes but the segments of the market in which we compete are showing signs of improvement."

Odell said he was confident Volvo will sell more than the 334,000 vehicles it delivered across the world in 2009.

Volvo launched its new S60 at the Geneva Motor Show, described by the company as its sportiest-ever vehicle.

It's launch introduces the first volume application of Volvos pedestrian safety system. The system alerts the driver and can automatically bring the vehicle to a stop at speeds of up to 35kph if it determines a collision is imminent.

Odell added, however, that safety on its own will not sell Volvos. "Our cars are becoming more exciting to drive and more appealing to look at. If you can have industry-leading environmental and safety and wrap it into a desirable shape then that is compelling."

Volvo aims to sell 90,000 S60s per year. The car will be made at Ghent in Belgium and goes on sale in the UK early this summer.

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