Car manufacturer Ford is chewing over possible alliances with other automobile firms, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Ford chairman and chief executive Bill Ford called Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Nissan and Renault, last month, the newspaper said, but had yet to hold formal talks with other carmakers about a tie up.
The story comes after Mr Ghosn reportedly held talks with General Motors about a three-way alliance, a move backed by GM's biggest shareholder, Kirk Kerkorian.
Mr Ghosn had said he will not talk to Ford until discussions with GM were concluded.
Mr Ford told BusinessWeek yesterday: "Naturally, when you look at the possible collaborations in our industry that are being talked about, we look at how those alliances might affect us. Let me assure you, we're not sitting on the sidelines waiting for things to happen.
"There are a lot of players out there gaming these things out, and we are, too. If we find someone with common interest, and it's good for all of us, we would look at that."
Shares in Ford rose 34 cents to close at $7.76 a share on the news.
To date, Ford has lost $1.4 billion in the first half of this year.
Ford will axe North American production by 21 per cent in the fourth quarter primarily because of slow sales in the F-Series pickup.
Ford and GM are due to send a preliminary report on a possible alliance to directors by mid-October.