Volvo-Geely engine unit urges automakers to pool combustion tech

Aurobay is targeting to become “as big as possible, and that as fast as possible,” Fleiss said, which will require collaboration. “Even if all these predictions and ambitions of selling BEVs come true, in 2040 as many as 75 percent of cars on the road will still be combustion based.”

The unit, owned two-thirds by Geely and the remainder by Volvo Cars, produced 750,000 combustion and hybrid engines as well as electric motors, at the Skovde plant in southern Sweden and the Zhangjiakou factory in Hebei province in China.

The business employs about 2,900 workers and both facilities used to belong to Volvo, which has been fully owned by Geely since 2010. There is also a plan to add Geely Automobile Holdings powertrain operations to the venture at some point in the future.

Fleiss, a long-standing Volvo Cars executive with previous roles at Volkswagen Group, declined to comment on whether Aurobay is holding talks with Renault on their combustion-engine business plans. However, a consolidation of such assets is something that “definitely lies ahead,” he said.

Aurobay may consider a stock market listing “in some years” but has “no active plans,” Fleiss said, adding that a surprising number of interested investors are reaching out about options to buy into the company. 

“These investors see there is a big business still to make, and quite some revenue to be done before this technology dies out,” he said.

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