Geely Automobile’s parent company is confident its bid for Volvo Car Corporation will be successful.

Chairman Li Shufu told Reuters that talks with Volvo’s parent Ford were still at an early stage and were proceeding at a cautious pace. Geely heads a consortium that includes both domestic and foreign banks.

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group was named this week by Ford as a preferred bidder for the loss-making Swedish unit. If it goes through, the deal would mark China's biggest acquisition of foreign auto assets.

Li told Reuters that he was confident Geely’s bid would be successful and said the effort to buy Volvo was aimed at promoting Geely's strategic development as it looks to move beyond the Chinese market, now the world's largest, and onto the global stage.

Ford and Geely have not disclosed a possible sale price for Volvo, but media reports suggested it could be closer to $2bn than the $6.45bn Ford paid for the Swedish car maker in 1999.

A further bid is expected from Konsortium Jakob, the Swedish investor.