Ford, GM Discussed Potential Alliance: Report

General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. have discussed a potential merger or alliance, the trade publication Automotive News said Sept. 18, citing "several sources familiar with the talks."

The chief financial officers of both companies met last month to discuss an alliance, one of the sources told Automotive News. The meeting occurred after Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn approached GM about a potential alliance in July at the urging of GM's largest private shareholder, billionaire Kirk Kerkorian.

GM is currently studying the Renault-Nissan alliance. It is unlikely the alliance with Ford will occur as it does not appear further discussions have ensued, a source told the News.

One source told the weekly magazine that GM chief Rick Wagoner contacted Ford the day after Ghosn disclosed his plan. A second source disputed that, the magazine reported.

Ford spokesman Tom Hoyt declined to comment. However, a spokeswoman for GM did not deny the rumors. "GM executives routinely discuss issues of mutual interest with other automakers," Gina Proia told AFP. "As a policy, we do not confirm or comment publicly these private discussions."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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