GM will sell its 3% stake in Suzuki in order to raise cash.

The move comes as the U.S. Congress debates a bailout for money-losing car makers that some say will give the firms a chance to restructure and save jobs while others say it only throws good money after bad.

The two firms, which together own a factory in Canada for the North American market, plan to continue to cooperate on developing hybrid cars, and there may be tie-ups in emerging markets, Suzuki said.

Suzuki and GM have maintained a business relationship that dates back to August 1981. The companies have agreed to be committed to continue promoting and implementing not only our existing projects, including development collaboration on advanced automotive technologies, but also collaboration on entries in new emerging markets.

GM plans to sell 16,413,000 Suzuki shares, which is equal to 3% of Suzuki's total issued common stock, on the open market on November 18.

The purchasing price will be the closing price today of JPY1,363/share. The total amount is estimated to be JPY22,370,919,000 (approx USD230m). The funds required to purchase the stock will come out of Suzuki's own internal reserve.

The Chairman and CEO of Suzuki, Osamu Suzuki, said in a statement: "Suzuki and GM have been constantly exchanging frank opinions on various topics as business partners. As GM taking this particular step to sell the shares it owns as a step toward strengthening its balance sheet is very understandable, we wanted to support GM's decision. We confirmed each other in a conference call with Wagoner-san and me that all individual initiatives will be pursued as they are today. There will be no impact on Suzuki's current business plan."