Speaking at a press conference in Hong Kong, Geely Holding Group Co. CEO Gui Shengyue said China’s largest privately owned auto maker wanted full ownership of Volvo Cars.
Shengyue added that Ford would announce within the next month whether it would move ahead with the sale of Volvo Cars.
“This has been on the cards for so long that it doesn’t come as any surprise,” Christer Karlsson, auto industry expert at Copenhagen Business School, told news agency TT.
Geely is one of a number of Chinese firms mentioned as potential buyers of Volvo Cars, particularly in the wake of the Chinese government’s announcement that it would be investing heavily in the country’s car industry.
Rumours have long flourished about Geely’s interest in Volvo Cars.
“Geely is a typical manufacturer of mass production cars and it’s conceivable that Geely is interested in adding a luxury brand to its range,” said Karlsson.
But Karlsson said he was unsure as to whether Ford would consider releasing its technology to a Chinese company.
“Ford has previously been very dubious about that,” he said.
Volvo Group sold its car unit to Ford in 1999 but the relationship seemed destined to be short-lived after Ford announced at the end of last year that it was planning to sell the subsidiary.
Volvo Cars made a loss last year of some 13 billion kronor ($1.85 billion), followed by a loss for the fist six months of 2009 of almost 4 billion kronor.