A decision on the future of Chrysler is expected to be taken in the next few weeks.

The German newspaper Handelsblatt quotes a source close to the situation as saying that: “The transaction could be completed by the end of May.”

According to dpa-AFX, Daimler is planning to allow a second round of offers from potential buyers for the US division in the next few weeks. Interested parties must make a new binding offer for the company, at which point Daimler will decide on one or two final candidates.

A DaimlerChrysler spokesperson would not confirm the report and said that all options continue to be considered.

Yesterday US media reported that the sale of DaimlerChrysler could take longer than expected. It cited the lack of agreement with unions as a reason for this. Any potential buyer would need to reach an agreement with unions to bring down healthcare costs, but the UAW would be unlikely to be interested in completing any discussions before the 14th September, or as long as pay negotiations with Ford and GM are still going on.

Bloomberg reported today that DaimlerChrysler AG’s three biggest unions have told chief executive officer Dieter Zetsche to resist selling the US Chrysler unit or pick a buyer who knows the automotive industry.

“Our preference is that he keeps Chrysler,” Canadian Auto Workers’ representative Jerry Dias said after meeting with the auto maker’s labour committee in Stuttgart, Germany, yesterday. “If they choose to spin it off, we can live with Magna,” he said. The other two unions present at the meeting were the UAW and Germany’s IG Metall.