GM and Japan's Isuzu in talks on truck tie-up

Japan's Isuzu Motors said on 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 trucks 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 were 4.0 percent higher at 546 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Thursday morning.

Demand for pickups has been growing in many emerging nations, partly due to poor road conditions.

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