Shares in Ford surged more than four per cent yesterday with a report chairman and chief executive Bill Ford (above) had approached Nissan-Renault boss Carlos Ghosn about a global alliance. The Wall Street Journal cited "a person well-positioned to know".
Ford spokesman Oscar Suris said the company would not comment on "speculation". Nissan spokesman Fred Standish said he was not aware of any discussion.
Ford's rival, General Motors, is in talks with Nissan, of Japan, and Renault, of France, about joining their global alliance. The idea came from billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, who holds a 9.9 per cent GM stake.
The report said Mr Ford called Mr Ghosn "with a simple message: If you don't do the deal with GM, talk to me".
Mr Ghosn is widely admired in the auto industry as a turnaround specialist, and both Ford and GM are in the middle of ambitious restructuring efforts.