Ford is having trouble offloading its failing Volvo subsidiary but the company is determined to sell it and has already started approaching potential buyers in spite of the tough economic conditions. The Blue Oval has been in talks with a number of potential suitors in the recent past, and the first of these other parties will reportedly submit indicative bids for Volvo as early as this April.

A person familiar with the matter has now revealed to Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post that the Chinese government has given approval for Chery Auto to buy Volvo from Ford. Other parties also rumored to be interested in the Swedish carmaker include fellow Chinese carmakers Dongfeng Motor Group and Chongqing Changan, as well as a European constellation.

None of the aforementioned parties have confirmed an interest in Volvo, however, last month Chery Auto boss Yin Tongyao said that his company would not rule out the possibility of buying a troubled European brand.

Volvo was looking almost unsellable just a few weeks ago but with the Swedish government announcing that it is willing to back €445 million ($572 million) in loan guarantees for the carmaker the deal has been sweetened a little.

A Chinese company could benefit greatly from acquiring Volvo, especially with the Swedish carmaker’s research and development teams and reputation for safety, which so far has been lacking in most Chinese made cars. Volvo's North American dealership network could also prove attractive to emerging Chinese buyers in particular.