Ford in talks with China carmakers on Volvo deal image

U.S. auto giant Ford Motor remains in talks with several potential buyers for its Sweden-based Volvo Cars unit, including China’s Geely Auto and Beijing Auto, media reported yesterday.

“We’ve been in discussion with a number of parties concerning the future of Volvo, and that situation hasn’t changed,” Ford spokesman John Gardiner told Dow Jones.

“It’s still the case that Volvo is held for sale, and it’s probable that Volvo will be sold,” said Gardiner. “But this process will still take some time to unfold.”

Frontrunners for taking over Volvo, according to media reports, are China’s Geely Auto and Beijing Auto, as well as a group of investors based in Europe.

“Geely is finalizing a plan to buy the majority of shares in Volvo Cars” in August, Swedish business daily Dagens Industri reported, saying the deal would value Volvo Cars at between “20 (billion) and 25 billion Swedish kronor (1.9-2.4 billion euros).”

In 2008 Ford made its biggest ever annual loss. Like its rival General Motors, it has been hit by the global slump in demand for cars – a fall of 30% alone in the U.S. in the last quarter of 2008.