Ford Motor Co. confirms a consortium led by China-based Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. is the preferred bidder in the ongoing discussions concerning the possible sale of its Volvo Car Corp. division.

Ford in a statement says it will be engaging in more detailed and focused negotiations with Geely, but notes no final decisions have been made.

“Ford’s objective in our discussions with Geely is to secure an agreement that is in the best interests of all of the parties,” says Lewis Booth, Ford executive vice president and chief financial officer.

“Any prospective sale would have to ensure that Volvo has the resources, including the capital investment, necessary to further strengthen the business and build its global franchise, while enabling Ford to continue to focus on and implement our One Ford strategy.”

Booth says Geely has the “potential to be a responsible future owner of Volvo,” but there is “much work that needs to be completed in the more substantive discussions that are agreed to take place.”

Should the sale go through, Ford says it would continue to cooperate with Volvo in “several areas,” but it does not intend to retain a stake in the Swedish auto maker.

“Any sale also would need to take into account the significant connections between Ford and Volvo in terms of continuing component supply, engineering and manufacturing,” John Fleming, chairman of Volvo and Ford of Europe, says in a statement.

Ford says there is no specific timeline to conclude the discussions.