Friday, October 17, 2008

Chrysler's CEO says auto industry ripe for mergers

October 17, 2008 00:03 EDT

DETROIT (AP) -- Chrysler's chief executive is refusing to comment on reports of accelerating merger talks between Chrysler and General Motors.

But CEO Bob Nardelli does say that a steep decline in U.S. auto sales has created an environment for industry consolidation. Nardelli tells CNBC that his company has been open about looking for partners and creating alliances but declines to address discussions with GM.

A person familiar with negotiations told The Associated Press last week that GM has been discussing a merger or acquisition with Cerberus Capital Manager, which owns 80 percent of Chrysler. And the Wall Street Journal's Web site reports GM wants to do a deal by the end of the month. And potential lenders are eager to see it done.

GM is trying to raise additional capital ahead of what could be huge losses when it reports third-quarter earnings.

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