Just about every time an automaker decides to sell one of its brands, Chinese automaker Geely comes up as one of the potential suitors. Geely executive Lawrence Ang has reportedly told Automotive News that the reason Geely has been present at a lot of negotiating tables is because it wants to grow in part through acquisitions. And while the Chinese automaker has yet to finalize any big-ticket buys, it appears to be the front-runner for Ford's Volvo unit.

Earlier in the year, Geely looked into purchasing the Saab brand, but talks reportedly broke down after Koenigsegg presented what appeared to be the winning bid. But now that Koenigsegg has dropped out of the Saab sweepstakes, the door is open again for Geely. Is the Chinese automaker interested? Ang reportedly gave reporters at a shareholder event the ambiguous "who knows?" as an answer, but he also acknowledged that the company is investigating buying opportunities which have presented themselves during the automotive industry downturns in Europe and the States. Geely is also reportedly interested in purchasing parts and engines, which could be possible if General Motors decides to disband Saab if an adequate bid doesn't present itself by year-end.

While Geely appears to be close to purchasing Volvo and is perhaps in a good position to pick up Saab for a song, the automaker is also looking to increase its presence in its home market. Automotive News is reporting that Geely will increase spending by up to 43% in hopes of increasing sales from 300,000 in 2009 to over 400,000 next year.

[Source: Automotive News – subs req'd | Image: AFP/Getty]