Isuzu reportedly is considering buying a part of GM's truck business—if GM agrees to continue producing in that segment of the industry—according to Forbes magazine.
GM has been shopping its truck unit to foreign buyers in an effort to stave off bankruptcy.
If an agreement is reached, Isuzu would get access to the North American market and broaden its truck lineup, while GM would fulfill its need to shed assets in exchange for badly needed capital, as it scrambles for options such as a tie-up with Chrysler and solicits U.S. government help, according to Forbes.
Forbes reported that Isuzu was considering acquiring part of GM's mid-size truck line but did not want a full acquisition, according to a Nikkei report, citing comments by Isuzu President Susumu Hosoi. The Japanese carmaker was willing to explore a stake provided that GM retained some role in its truck business, Hosoi was quoted as telling the press in Japan.
According to Forbes, a deal could extend production of some trucks and engines that GM wanted to halt, and small-truck specialist Isuzu would get to expand its offerings of midsize commercial vehicles, which make up only about a fifth of its annual output of 270,000 vehicles. Isuzu would be able to take advantage of GM's dealership network to boost North American sales, filling a gap since its performance has been strongest in emerging markets such as Southeast Asia and Russia.