Earlier this month Geely Automobile Holdings announced its intent to purchase Volvo, which is expected to be offered for sale by current owner Ford Motor Company in the near future. Though it is so far the only formally interested bidder for the Swedish auto brand, its chances of successfully purchasing Volvo haven't been rated highly. That may have changed with today's investment of $334 million in Geely by Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Sachs is a global investment banking and securities firm, and its investment in the company, worth a 15.1% stake in Geely, indicates the firm's belief that Geely is a sound company with future growth potential.

That, in turn, could strengthen Geely's position at the bargaining table with Ford, as the Chinese company's credibility in an uncertain marketplace has taken strides forward. Other benefits from Goldman's involvement include potential improvements in efficiency and new business opportunities.

Geely is working hard to build its manufacturing capacity in its competition against rival Chinese automakers Chery and SAIC. Acquiring Volvo could be a major competitive advantage for the company, helping it to quickly gain much-needed engineering, design and manufacturing expertise.

If Geely does secure the purchase of Volvo, it is expected to pump as much as $10 billion into development of the Volvo brand around the world, including a new factory in the Guangdong province in China. The first model to be fully developed under Geely's ownership could be the next-generation XC90, which is expected to arrive in 2011.