It's been rumored for months Chinese automaker Geely had the best shot at picking up the Volvo brand from Ford, and today, Dearborn has finally confirmed it. Geely was named as the preferred bidder this morning and the Blue Oval is proceeding with negotiations. However, this is not going to be an easy deal to close. Ford doesn't want to keep any stake in the Swedish company, although it does hope to continue some product cooperation.
In spite of the lack of shareholding, Ford doesn't want Volvo to wither on the vine and wants whoever buys it to have the resources to make it a going concern – unlike what happened when BMW dumped Rover. Perhaps the toughest nut to crack will be intellectual property concerns. Any time a sale like this happens, the seller is be concerned about leaving too much information lying around, and that concern is understandably amplified when dealing with an up-and-coming Chinese company. There is no word on when a deal might be closed, so in the meantime, busy yourself with the official release after the jump.