Ford recently announced that it was opening up consideration of 'strategic options' for its Volvo brand, reversing repeated denials that the Swedish carmaker would be sold. According to the latest reports, Ford has approached the government of Sweden for aid to help prop up Volvo and is now seeking up to $6 billion from its sale.

In a statement, Ford revealed that it would probably take several months to complete the review of options available, so the first decisions shouldn't be expected before late Q1 2009. However, Bloomberg is reporting that JPMorgan Chase & Co has already been hired as an advisor for the eventual sale.

“Given the unprecedented external challenges facing Ford and the entire industry, it is prudent for Ford to evaluate options for Volvo as we implement our ONE Ford plan,” Ford CEO Alan Mulally said earlier this week. Specifically, the sale of Volvo is being considered as Stephen Odell, Volvo's CEO, works to build a stronger balance sheet and a more 'stand-alone' position for Volvo under the Ford umbrella.

Ford, along with General Motors and Chrysler, is meeting with Congress in Washington this week to ask for a federal hand out. Arguably, the safest of the Detroit 3 financially, Ford has asked for $9 billion in a government credit line to support its restructuring, saying it expects to break even or be profitable in 2011.