Volvo might be in for long wait with Dongfeng JV

BRUSSELS Thu Nov 22, 2007 3:54am EST

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Swedish industrial group Volvo AB (VOLVb.ST) could have to wait years before it can begin manufacturing heavy trucks in China together with potential joint venture partner Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd (0489.HK).

"We are 90 percent through with our discussions," Volvo Deputy Chief Executive Jorma Halonen told Reuters in Brussels on Thursday, adding though that progress in talks was not the only factor affecting its timetable.

When asked when the joint venture could be finalized, Halonen said it could take anywhere between 2 to 15 years.

"It physically takes time because there are so many authorities involved," he explained.

Should a deal be reached, Volvo would likely replace Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) as Dongfeng's heavy and medium duty commercial vehicles partner.

Currently Volvo already operates four joint automotive ventures in China -- an exception to the rule since Chinese policy usually only allows two for a foreign company.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason)

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