ORLANDO -- For the first time in years, Volvo Cars of North America Inc. has competitive 0 percent loans because it dumped Ford Motor Credit Co. financing.
Late last year Volvo switched entirely to U.S. Bank for consumer financing because Ford's rates weren't competitive, said Doug Speck, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America. U.S. Bank was already handling Volvo's lease financing, he said.
This month Volvo did what it hadn't been able to with Ford Credit: Offer 0 percent financing for up to 72 months on select models, Speck said. The program runs through March.
Changing its finance arm wasn't tied to the sale of Volvo by Ford Motor Co., but it clearly begins Volvo's separation.
Anxious about the future of their businesses, Volvo dealers asked the top U.S. executive a flurry of questions about the brand's future. Speck could only repeat what parent company Ford has stated: The sale to China's Geely will be made this quarter and completed in the second quarter.
Speck told dealers that even he has been negotiating with Volvo's likely new parent to keep his job, said Ray Ciccolo, president of Village Automotive Group in Boston. Speck confirmed that but gave no details.
"There weren't a lot of answers, and they understood our concern," said Ciccolo. "But we also asked the same questions when Ford bought the business."
Dealers said Volvo told them Geely has seen the brand's future product plan -- an important element in the acquisition. A replacement to the XC90 crossover and S80 sedan are under development.