Ford put its Volvo unit up for sale last December, and it's narrowed the possible buyers to just one bidder: a Chinese consortium led by Geely, the country's largest private automaker. Geely first approached Ford about the purchase in summer 2008 and is prepared to pay about $2 billion, less than a third of the price Ford paid a decade ago. The company rejected an offer by an American group backed by private equity.
Last year Ford sold off Jaguar and Land Rover to India's Tata Motors for $2.4 billion, and getting Volvo off of its hands will allow the automaker to concentrate on its core brands in hopes of making a profit by 2011. The deal with Geely hasn't been inked yet, though, and Ford had considered keeping the Swedish unit as its losses began to narrow this year.