DETROIT Jan 9 General Motors Co and
Isuzu Motors Ltd will discuss the possibility of
jointly developing a next-generation pickup truck, GM said in a
statement on Wednesday.
The two automakers signed a memorandum of understanding to
start negotiations, but GM declined to outline the timing of the
talks or any other aspect of the potential deal.
The Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that the tie-up would
be formalized late this month in a meeting in the United States
between Isuzu President Susumu Hosoi and GM CEO Dan Akerson.
The companies have worked together on trucks in the past,
which led to the development of the original Chevrolet Colorado
mid-size pickup truck from GM. Isuzu sold it as the i-Series.
The two companies will also continue talks on the
possibility of GM, the largest U.S. automaker, taking a stake in
Isuzu, Nikkei reported. A GM spokesman declined to comment.
The two companies' financial ties go back to 1971, when GM
took a stake in the Japanese truck maker. In 1999, GM raised its
stake to 49 percent but whittled it down over time, disappointed
by Isuzu's losses and later hampered by its own financial woes.
In 2006, the two companies dissolved their equity tie-up.