Page last updated at 08:02 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 09:02 UK

China's Geely may bid for Volvo

Geely's GE model in Shanghai
Geely has been moving towards making more expensive cars

China's Geely Automotive says its parent company would bid for Volvo if Ford decides to sell the Swedish firm.

The company said it would make an offer in conjunction with a government-backed investor and it expected Ford to decide whether to sell Volvo within a month.

The purchase would be a big step for Geely, which is currently a relatively small domestic carmaker.

It already has a joint venture with Manganeze Bronze to make 8,000 London taxis in China.

Geely used to make the cheapest cars in China but has been moving towards appealing to more affluent customers.

Marque sales

Chinese carmakers have expressed a great deal of interest in buying international car marques, although there has been limited success so far.

Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery has agreed to buy the off-road Hummer brand from General Motors.

Nanjing Automobile bought the assets of MG Rover in 2006 and Shanghai Automotive may end up owning a stake in Saab Automobile as part of the takeover by the luxury carmaker Koenigsegg.

Although Ford has not faced the same difficulties as its domestic rivals GM and Chrysler, it has still found itself having to sell some of its marques to concentrate on its core US carmaking business.

Last year, it sold Jaguar and Land Rover to India's biggest carmaker Tata for $2.3bn (£1.4bn).

In 2007 it sold its Aston Martin marque to a UK-led investment consortium.

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