Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Reports: GM in talks to buy Chrysler

Friday, February 16, 2007
Reports: GM in talks to buy Chrysler
Christine Tierney / The Detroit News

DaimlerChrysler AG shares surged Friday on reports that the German automaker was in talks with General Motors Corp. about possibly selling its Chrysler Group division to GM.

Both DaimlerChrysler and GM declined comment, neither confirming nor denying the reports.

DaimlerChrysler shares closed up $3.80, or 4.4 percent, at $73.33 on the New York Stock Exchange, while GM shares slipped 10 cents to $36.34.

Trade publication Automotive News reported early Friday that high-level talks were taking place between DaimlerChrysler and GM executives, while Dow Jones Newswires reported that the companies have "at least discussed the possibility of GM buying Chrysler."

The talks were first reported on Wednesday by Germany's Manager magazine, which said GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner and DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche had discussed a possible sale of Chrysler.

Zetsche announced Wednesday that DaimlerChrysler was considering all options for the ailing Chrysler division and no longer was ruling out a sale. Company sources said the management's change of heart followed a strategic review of the Stuttgart, Germany-based company's operations.

DaimlerChrysler announced a $1.5 billion 2006 loss at Chrysler on Wednesday, the day it outlined a restructuring plan for the Auburn Hills carmaker that calls for 13,000 job cuts. It will close one plant, cut production at others and pursue partnerships with other automakers.

Chrysler and GM have been in talks for more than six months about jointly producing vehicles, including a large SUV similar in size to the Chevrolet Tahoe, according to sources familiar with the talks.

You can reach Christine Tierney at (313) 222-1463 or ctierney@detnews.com.

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