, TOKYO, Jan 10 – Japan’s Isuzu Motors said Thursday it was in discussions with US giant General Motors on developing next-generation pickup trucks as a report said the two were in talks over a possible tie-up.
The firms have signed an agreement “on launching talks” to develop the vehicles and “will make an announcement at the appropriate time”, Isuzu said in a statement without releasing any more details.
The announcement came after Japan’s leading Nikkei business daily said the pair would likely reach an agreement later this month on a joint venture.
Under the reported deal, GM will start procuring about 100,000 engines for pickups from Isuzu, while looking to a possible investment in the Japanese firm.
In 2006, GM sold its long-standing minority stake in Isuzu — most of which was bought by Toyota — to generate cash as the ailing US automaker was undergoing a massive restructuring.
Last year, reports said Isuzu would spend 30 billion yen ($340 million) on building new factories in China and India to tap rising demand for pickup trucks in the fast-growing markets.
Isuzu shares closed 3.80 percent higher at 545 yen in Tokyo.
Demand for pickups has been growing in many emerging nations, partly due to poor road conditions.