General Motors chief executive Rick Wagoner yesterday insisted he planned to keep his job even if the US carmaker strikes a three-way alliance with rivals Renault and Nissan.
"We are in the middle of a huge turnaround that's getting a lot of momentum, and we really need to stay focused on that," he replied when asked if he would step down should Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of both Renault and Nissan, get a seat on GM's board.
The three automakers agreed last week to review the benefits of a potential alliance and gave themselves 90 days to come up with a deal.
Mr Wagoner declined to give any more details about the talks after what he called a "cordial" dinner with Mr Ghosn in Detroit on Friday at which they shared a meal and California wine.
Pressed about a possible deal at the British International Motor Show, Mr Wagoner said: "If there is value to be created and it's the best option for GM shareholders, we'd be glad to do it, as we have shown time and again."
Mr Wagoner said there were no alliance talks with Japan's Toyota, but he declined to comment on suggestions GM might tie up with Ford.
"We haven't had any discussions with Toyota on this matter," he said, adding: "I don't have any plans to have any discussions with Toyota."
But he added the board would have to look at any alternative plan that would be presented to it.
Asked about a possible link with Ford, Mr Wagoner said: "There is a lot of speculation on every possibly conceivable alternative, but really our first job is to get our business turned around. That is our primary focus."
Asked whether GM would make money in Europe this year for the first time since 1999, he said: "That remains our focus."
General Motors is in the process of cutting its European workforce by nearly a fifth to address slack markets and ferocious competition that are keeping pressure on prices and margins.
It has also announced it will close a delivery van plant in Portugal at the year end and drop one shift at Ellesmere Port, where Vauxhall's are made.
Asked if more steps might be needed to reduce GM manufacturing capacity in Europe, he said: "Those are pretty big moves on top of the very significant moves made over the last couple of years. Let's get those executed, and then we'll have to see, but competitiveness is an ongoing battle in Europe, in the US and really around the world."