DETROIT: Ford, the US auto maker, has begun "detailed" talks with companies interested in buying Volvo, its Swedish marque, with a number of Chinese carmakers rumoured to among the frontrunners to purchase the ailing company.

Several prominent brands have emerged in China in recent years, though it has been argued that few have successfully transferred their domestic success to the international market thus far.

Among the Chinese automakers said to have expressed an interest in buying Volvo are Chang'an – which already has a joint venture with Ford – as well as Dongfeng Motor and Geely.

Yin Tongyao, chairman of Chery, has also previously stated that the Beijing-based auto company would like buy a European marque, but would not "fight" its Chinese counterparts to do so.

Volvo, which made a loss of $1.5 billion (€1.1bn; £1.0bn) in 2008, is valued at between $1bn and $2bn by Ford, which originally purchased the Swedish company for $6.5bn in 1999.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff