General Motors' Saab brand has received interest from several potential bidders including China's Geely Automobile <0175.HK> and Dongfeng Motor Group <0489.HK>, sources with direct knowledge of the sales process said on Tuesday.

GM has not yet begun an official auction for the Swedish brand but expects to have preliminary financials for Saab ready in a few weeks, according to the people who were not authorized to discuss the sale process.

Several parties have expressed an interest in the brand, and GM would like to pursue a quick first round of bids first soon after it has sent out the financial material to interested parties, the sources said.

But the timeline for the auction remains fluid as potential buyers deal with tight credit conditions and an unprecedented downturn in global auto sales, one of the people with knowledge of the talks said.

Private equity firms and representatives of retired Swedish workers have also expressed interest in Saab, the person said.

GM has received interest from about five potential bidders so far, the second person said.

Saab sought protection from creditors last month to survive the current economic downturn and buy time to find a new owner after GM decided to cut its ties with the brand.

After including the sale of Saab as part of its restructuring plan in December, GM last month said it would like the brand to become an independent business by 2010.

(Reporting by Jui Chakravorty Das and Kevin Krolicki; Editing by Gary Hill and Carol Bishopric)