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Old 09-19-2008, 01:50 PM   #1
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Default Report: GM in talks to sell truck business to Isuzu

TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) -- General Motors is in talks to sell its truck operations to Japan's No.2 truck maker, Isuzu Motors, for several tens of billion in yen, a paper reported, but the Japanese firm said it had received no such offer.

GM was expected to sell its midsize-truck operations, which constituted most of its truck business, while outlooks are still unclear whether it would sell all related facilities, or retain a Michigan plant, the Nikkei business daily reported on Friday.

Isuzu shares jumped 10.5 percent to 336 yen.
However a spokeswoman for Isuzu, a former GM affiliate, rejected the report in the Nikkei, which said Isuzu has told the troubled U.S. auto giant that it would consider an offer positively.

"GM has not contacted us with such a deal. We will begin studying it once we receive it," Isuzu's Yukiko Okazaki said.
GM and Isuzu will likely reach a deal by the end of the year, the Nikkei said.

Isuzu might also raise its stake in DMAX, a diesel-engine joint venture in Ohio, from a current 40 percent, the paper said. GM holds the remaining 60 percent.

However the Isuzu spokeswoman denied the two auto firms were considering altering the ownership of DMAX.

A downturn in U.S. auto sales has hit GM hard. Sales through July were down almost 18 percent and the automaker has faced pressure to cut costs.
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