I've been catching up on my blog reading and have seen several mentions of rumors that the French Automaker ( who now have controling interest in Nissan) have approached Ford about buying Volvo, in an effort to buy into the upper end of the European market. The rumors all say that Ford flatly said no, smart move on Ford's part considering that Volvo is turning a profit and the shared technology and architecture between the two brands would make seperation difficult.
No French automaker has sold vehicles in the US market in almost 20 years. The French like the Italians ( Fiat and Alfa Romeo) suffered from a loss in reliability and prestige. Renault, Citreon and Peugeot all were available in the US for a period extending from the early 60's until the late 80's, but they could not compete with the more efficient and reliable German and Japanese imports. And even in Europe are not considered a premium brand. Buying Volvo would have given them a brand with the necessary credentials.
Opinions on the net seem to agree that Saab will be their next target for aquisition, that is if GM doesn't run the brand into the ground first. It would be a win win situaiton for GM and Renault, giving GM much needed cash.