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Ford Motor Co., General Motors Have Discussed Merger or Alliance, Automotive News reports

Automotive News

DETROIT, Sept. 18 -- Executives from Ford Motor Co. and General Motors have discussed a possible merger or alliance, Automotive News reports in its Monday, Aug. 18, 2006, edition.

The negotiations began in July after Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Renault SA CEO Carlos Ghosn broached the possibility of an alliance among Renault, Nissan and GM, according to several sources familiar with the talks, Automotive News reports.

It is not clear who launched the talks. One source says GM CEO Rick Wagoner contacted Ford Motor the day after Ghosn disclosed his plan. A second source disputes that.

In August, GM CFO Fritz Henderson discussed the proposed alliance with Ford CFO Don Leclair, said a source familiar with the talks.

But it is not at all clear whether the negotiations will bear fruit. As of now, the two companies are not holding talks, and one source says there is a slim chance that anything will come of it.

GM spokesman Tony Cervone declined to comment on the report.

"We regularly talk to a number of people in the industry regarding business opportunities of mutual interest," Cervone said Friday, Aug. 15. "As a matter of course, we don't comment on any of those because in many cases, they simply don't lead to anything."

Ford spokesman Oscar Suris also declined to comment.

To complicate things, GM is studying the Ghosn proposal to join the Nissan-Renault alliance. GM is two-thirds of the way through a 90-day study, which it is conducting with Renault and Nissan.

Ghosn made his proposal that GM join the Nissan-Renault alliance at the urging of Las Vegas billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, a major GM shareholder.

With more than 50 reporters and editors around the world, Automotive News delivers precise news, in-depth features, insightful editorials, auto show coverage, product reviews, special event announcements and recaps and more to 78,000 subscribers. It is the flagship of a worldwide group of publications that also includes Automotive News Europe and Automobilwoche. The publication provides in-depth coverage of the auto industry and is written for automakers, dealers and suppliers. The group's Web sites,, and are regularly updated with print content as well as breaking news alerts. Automotive News is published by Crain Communications Inc.