Chrysler's top executive has told employees the now privately-held automaker has been in contact with other parties "interested in exploring future possibilities with Chrysler" but said no new agreements had been reached.

As reported by just-auto, Chrysler has been exploring contract manufacture in India though the firm it has been talking with there made it clear nothing had yet been agreed. Chrysler has not responded to requests for comment.

There were also reports at the weekend that Chrysler owner Cerberus Capital Management and GM have held merger talks, with the former reportedly offering Chrysler in exchange for the latter's stake in GMAC, giving Cerberus 100% control.

"I can tell you that we have approached and have been approached by third parties who are interested in exploring future possibilities with Chrysler," Nardelli said in a memo sent to Chrysler employees, according to a Detroit News report.

"As the company evaluates strategic options to maximise core operations and leverage its assets, we engage in a dialogue with these parties. We do so keeping in mind our vision, our mission, and the best interests of those who have shown tremendous support for this company - including you, our employees, dealers, suppliers and customers."

The newspaper said the comments were the first official confirmation of such reports that Cerberus and GM had held preliminary talks.

The company on Saturday had said on its media blog only: "Chrysler LLC as a matter of policy does not confirm or disclose the nature of its private business meetings. As we have said, the company is looking at a number of potential global partnerships as it explores growth opportunities around the world. Beyond those partnerships already announced however, Chrysler has not formed any new agreements and has no further announcements to make at this time."

"Last week was marked by news headlines unlike anything most of us have seen in our careers," Nardelli reportedly wrote in his note to employees on Tuesday.

"Global financial markets are in turmoil and continue to seek stability as governments work to restore confidence in their banking and financial institutions. Here in the United States, on the heels of record-low consumer sentiment and the mortgage crisis, the credit crunch now presents a more serious issue to the automotive industry than four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline," the note said.

"Other headlines you may have seen over the weekend reported that GM and Ford had been talking about a merger, and also that there is a possibility of one between Chrysler and GM."

The Detroit News noted that Nardelli said Chrysler did not, as a matter of policy, comment on speculation, but he said the company "has not formed any new agreements" beyond the ventures already announced with other automakers, such as Nissan Motor and Volkswagen AG.

Chrysler, he said, "has no announcements to make at this time."

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