Swedish industrial group AB Volvo (owner of Volvo Trucks) is prepared to offer financial assistance to its former car unit Volvo Cars if necessary, but is not interested in buying it back, the company's chairman told a Swedish business newspaper.

"We would gladly finance joint projects, such as sponsor projects or research projects, and could consider being part of various consortiums without becoming the main owner," Volvo chairman of the board Finn Johnsson told Swedish financial daily Dagens Industri.

"We absolutely do not want to buy Volvo Cars," he stressed.

Johnsson also said he was opposed to calls for the Swedish state to acquire Volvo Cars.

"The state knows nothing about the car industry and Volvo needs an owner that can increase sales and cooperate with suppliers on components and development," he said, suggesting French carmaker Renault as a good owner for the Swedish company.

AB Volvo sold its car unit to Ford in 1999.

Speculation has recently grown that cash-strapped Ford would be prepared to sell Volvo Cars if it could find a buyer.