Earlier this week reports emerged that Ford was in talks with Chinese carmakers Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and Changan Auto over a potential sale of Volvo. The Blue Oval has now confirmed that the struggling Swedish carmaker is up for sale but refused to comment on whether there are talks taking place with the rumored Chinese firms.

The executive that started the rumors, Changan president Xu Liuping, has revealed to Reuters that his original comments were misquoted by the Chinese newspaper that originally ran the report. Liuping has now commented that he has no knowledge of any talks between Changan and Ford over the sale.

Ford is already tied with Chongqing Changan Automobile - a subsidiary of Changan Auto that builds the Focus sedan for the local market – and there are always negotiations between the two companies taking place.

Industry sources, meanwhile, say the Detroit 3 have already approached a range of Chinese firms about possible asset sales, though slowing demand in even the traditionally strong Chinese market has most companies wary of any major acquisitions.