National carmaker Proton has confirmed news reports that it is in talks with Detroit-based General Motors (GM). Replying to a query from Bursa Malaysia, Proton said that talks are only at a preliminary stage and there’s nothing to announce for now.

“The Board of Directors of Proton Holdings Berhad wishes to inform that talks with GM are only at a preliminary stage and as such warrants no announcement at this point in time. Should there be further developments that warrant an announcement, the Company hereby undertakes to make necessary disclosure in accordance with the relevant requirements,” Proton told the stock exchange.

People started talking about it last week, when The Edge reported that Proton was in talks to sell 40% to 50% stake in its underused Tanjung Malim plant to GM for between RM700 million to RM800 million. Sources quoted by the report said that if the deal goes through, GM could potentially invest RM300 million worth of equipment in the facility.

Proton chairman Datuk Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, when confirming his bid for Khazanah’s shares in Proton, added fuel: “There is some truth in the report. However, GM has all along been interested in Proton even when I was the head during the 1990s,” he said.