Geely Holding Group on Thursday denied rumors that it was planning to purchase Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo unit, according to a report on Sohu.com.
Zhang Jiagan, assistant to Geely's president, said the company recently sent a team to investigate the auto market in Syria, not Sweden, according to the report. But he did not disclose any information about whether Geely was interested in buying Volvo from Ford Motor Co. of Detroit, which bought the Swedish automaker in 1999 for 6.45 billion.
Media reports have speculated that Geely officials had visited Volvo's headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden and planned to go there again this week to negotiate a purchase of Volvo.
Ford indicated its willingness to sell Volvo last December to focus on its core brands and cut costs amid a sharp drop in car sales.
John Gardiner, a Ford spokesman, has refused to discuss any information regarding a sale of Volvo in recent interviews. But he has said Ford has not yet made any final decisions about selling the automaker.
Geely has long been considered to be interested in taking over Volvo. Hong Kong-listed Geely Auto Ltd., the holding company's auto subsidiary, previously announced that it did not have plans to buy Volvo. But the announcement did not specify that the parent company would not consider purchasing the automaker.