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GM To Increase Stake in Isuzu

December 18, 1998

TOKYO (AP) _ The biggest U.S. automaker, General Motors Corp., will increase its stake in Japan’s Isuzu Motors Ltd. to 49 percent from the current 37.5 percent for $456 million.

The automakers are also broadening their cooperation in commercial vehicles by giving Isuzu full responsibility to develop trucks and other commercial vehicles for the entire GM group.

Isuzu is one of the world’s top truck makers, and produced more than 100,000 trucks last year.

``This agreement will further leverage Isuzu’s strong position in the commercial vehicles segment to ensure that Isuzu plays an even more important role in GM’s global commercial vehicle development and integration process,″ the companies said today in a news release

GM will expand its interest in Isuzu in March by acquiring 232.5 million newly-issues shares in the Japanese company, company officials said at a news conference in Tokyo.

Today’s announcement comes amid a wave of consolidation in the global auto industry which has forced carmakers to bolster existing tie-ups and seek new alliances.

In September, GM announced it would increase its stake another Japanese automaker, Suzuki Motor Corp., to 10 percent.

Earlier this week, German magazine Der Spiegel reported that DaimlerChrysler is considering taking a stake in Japan’s Nissan Motor Co.

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