DETROIT -- Senior executives at General Motors and Ford Motor Co. have discussed a merger or alliance, according to several sources familiar with the talks.
The talks began after Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn broached the possibility of an alliance among Renault, Nissan and GM in July.
It's not clear who launched the talks. One source says GM CEO Rick Wagoner contacted Ford the day after Ghosn disclosed his plan. A second source disputes that.
Last month, GM CFO Fritz Henderson discussed an 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's a slim chance that anything will come of it.
GM spokesman Tony Cervone declined to comment on the report. "As we've often said, GM officials routinely discuss issues of mutual interest with other automakers. As a matter of policy, we do not confirm or comment publicly on those private discussions, which in many cases never lead anywhere," Cervone said Friday, Sept. 15.
Ford spokesman Oscar Suris also declined to comment.
To complicate things, GM already is studying the Ghosn proposal. GM is two-thirds of the way through that 90-day study, which it is conducting with Renault and Nissan.
Ghosn made his proposal at the urging of Las Vegas billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, a major GM shareholder.
Bradford Wernle and Robert Sherefkin contributed to this report
You may e-mail Jamie LaReau at [email protected]