GM denies merger talks with Chrysler

The Wall Street Journal reports that Chrysler owner Cerberus is willing to give away some of its stake in the automaker.

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By staff

LONDON ( -- Ailing automakers General Motors and Chrysler have restarted merger discussions, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. However, a GM spokesman denied the report on Thursday morning.

The newspaper, citing people with knowledge of the talks, said Chrysler owner Cerberus Capital Management reopened the discussions and has suggested it is more willing to give up part of its ownership.

A Chrysler spokesman told CNN he could not confirm this story.

A GM spokesman told CNN that there are no merger talks. "It is not true," said Greg Martin, GM spokesman. "There are no talks."

Merger talks between the two automakers collapsed a few weeks ago but the reopened discussions could be a way for Chrysler to show Congress its willingness to cooperate in the restructuring of the auto industry, the report said.

Chrysler, GM (GM, Fortune 500) and Ford Motor (F, Fortune 500) have approached Washington for aid to help them get through the current financial crisis. A congressional effort to establish a stopgap, $14 billion loan program to help Chrysler and GM at least until next month collapsed in Congress last week.

Chrysler announced late Wednesday that it is stopping all vehicle production in the United States for at least a month due to "continued lack of consumer credit for the American car buyer."

Slowing sales have forced all of Detroit's Big Three automakers to suspend operations in January. (Full storyTo top of page

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