Magna has emerged as the front-runner in the bidding to grab a significant stake in the Chrysler Group, according to several industry analysts, according to a number of media reports.

"We now believe there is increased likelihood that MGA could take a direct minority ownership stake in Chrysler," KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Brett Hoselton wrote Friday in a note to investors, AP reported.

The report added that Magna also appears to be the favoured bidder for Chrysler's powerful unions, which control just less than half the votes on parent company DaimlerChrysler AG's supervisory board.

"They've been the suitor du jour for the last couple of weeks now," said George Magliano, an auto analyst at consulting company Global Insight, AP reported.

Hoselton said in his note that the United Auto Workers union has approached Magna with a framework for a concession package that would move the deal along.

Officials with the UAW, Magna and DaimlerChrysler would not comment on the reports, AP said.

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger has said he prefers to keep Chrysler with Daimler, and he has strongly opposed any sale to private equity firms, which he said would sell off Chrysler in pieces and cost union members their jobs.

See also: Magna the self-styled Tier 0.5