MUNICH -- Members of Chinese automaker Geely's management team are in Sweden this week to discuss the company's bid for Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo car brand, a Europe-based spokesman for Geely said.
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the parent of Geely Automobile, was named by Ford as a preferred bidder for its money-losing Swedish unit last month.
The Geely team will be in Gothenburg and Stockholm this week to meet with Ford and Volvo officials, Volvo unions and Swedish government officials.
One of toughest issues the sides face is the transfer of Volvo's intellectual property rights. A Ford spokesman said the U.S. automaker feels confident in its ability to protect its secrets because it overcame similar issues during the 2008 sale of Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors Ltd.
A person close to the talks said that Ford's decision to name Geely as a preferred bidder is a sign that the sides have made progress on this point.
According to a Chinese newspaper report on Tuesday, a Geely spokesman in China said the sides have already decided that Volvo will retain the rights for its licensed technologies but will allow Geely to use the technologies.
Geely spokesman Yuan Xiaolin also told the Shanghai Securities News that Volvo will retain all its manufacturing and research facilities along with its dealership network and its agreements with the labor union.
The Ford and Geely spokesmen in Europe declined to comment on the report.
Yuan did not give a timetable for the deal saying Geely is currently in detailed talks with Ford.
Geely Chairman Li Shufu told Reuters last month he is confident of his company's bid for Volvo.
The Wall Street Journal said earlier in the month that Geely would build a new Volvo plant in China capable of making 300,000 vehicles a year.
Volvo could sell 1 million cars a year globally within four or five years, compared with recent annual sales of about 400,000 vehicles, the newspaper said.
Ford and Geely have not disclosed a possible sale price for Volvo, but media reports suggested it could be closer to $2 billion than the $6.45 billion Ford paid for the Swedish automaker in 1999.
Reuters contributed to this report