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The parent company of Geely Automobile is confident on a bid for Ford Motor's Volvo car unit, which it is discussing as head of a consortium that includes both domestic and foreign banks, chairman Li Shufu said on Friday.

Mr. Li told Reuters on the sidelines of a business event in Shanghai that the talks were still at an early stage and were proceeding at a cautious pace.

"There are lots of details and we're taking our time," he said.

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Zhejiang Geely Holding Group was named by Ford Motor as a preferred bidder for its loss-making Swedish unit Volvo Car Corp late on Wednesday.

The deal, if it goes through, would mark China's biggest acquisition of foreign auto assets.

Asked if he was confident on the bid, Mr. Li replied: 'Yes, we are."

He said the effort to buy Volvo was aimed at promoting Geely's strategic development as it looks to move beyond the Chinese market, now the world's largest, onto the global stage.

"We are seeking our way out into the world," he said.

A number of home-grown Chinese automakers, including Chery Automobile, are keen to break into foreign markets and are aggressively developing their own brands while moving beyond traditional offerings in the small, low-priced car segment into more upmarket vehicles.

Ford and Geely have not disclosed a possible sale price for Volvo, but media reports suggested it could be closer to $2-billion (U.S.) than the $6.45-billion Ford paid for the Swedish car maker in 1999.

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