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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-18-06 07:24 AM
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14. Ford, GM have discussed merger, alliance-report

CHICAGO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Senior executives at General Motors Corp. (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Ford Motor Co. (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research) have discussed a merger or alliance, industry newspaper Automotive News reported on Monday.

Citing several sources familiar with the talks, the paper said it was not clear whether the negotiations will bear fruit.

As of now, the two companies, both struggling with shrinking market shares while restructuring operations, are not holding talks, and one source said there is a slim chance that anything will come of the situation, Automotive News said.

GM and Ford declined to confirm any talks.

"As we've often said, GM officials routinely discuss issues of mutual interest with other automakers," GM spokesman Brian Akre said. "As a policy, we do not confirm or comment publicly on those private discussions, which in many cases never lead anywhere."

Ford spokesman Tom Hoyt said the automaker does not comment on speculation.

On Friday, Ford said it would slash $5 billion in costs and one-third of its work force as it warned its auto business would not make a profit in North America for another three years. It also suspended its dividend and pledged to revamp a vehicle line-up seen as weak by analysts.

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