Volvo has agreed to share some of its vehicle technologies with parent company Geely. Volvo, which was sold by Ford to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2010, will grant Geely access to vehicle technologies it plans to phase out in the coming years.
Although specifics of the three "technological cooperation agreements" signed by both companies remains a mystery, Volvo has reportedly granted Geely access to its “mid-size vehicle platform or underpinning technology, interior air quality, and safety technology,” according to Reuters.
"Volvo Car enjoys a leading advantage in a number of technologies... These technologies and experiences are valuable to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group's exploration into overseas market and its product quality improvement," Geely said in a statement.
The Chinese automaker added that Volvo also stands to benefit from the agreement.
"Zhejiang Geely Holding Group's local market exploration experience and cost control experience can also be beneficial to Volvo Car's exploration in the Chinese market and increase in competitiveness.”
It remains to be seen just how Geely plans to use its Volvo-sourced technology. Geely has been planning to develop a new "premium" Chinese brand for some time, and the deal with Volvo could be the start of that initiative. Geely has also been vocal about obtaining access to Volvo's in-car air filtration systems.
"Air pollution in China is quite severe," Geely founder and chairman Li Shufu told Automotive News last year, "so we want to have that technology transferred to Geely to improve the in-car air quality of Geely cars to make it more like air you breathe in the forest."
Some fear that technology sharing between Volvo and Geely could ultimately dilute the Swedish automaker's premium image, but so far there has been no indication of that.