Global Motors

First Daimler-Benz and Chrysler. Now Ford and Volvo. What next?

It's a jungle out there in the global car business. The economies of scale increasingly favor the multinational giants. And more of the smaller firms are deciding they'll fare best by joining with a strong partner. That's why safe, sensible Volvo of Sweden last week agreed to allow its car division to be bought by Ford, the No. 2 U.S. automaker, for $6.5 billion. The deal takes Ford closer to its goal of becoming a "world car" company. "The beauty of this deal is that Volvo is a premium brand with premium profit margins," says Scott Merlis, who follows autos for...

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