General Motors is expected to explain its ongoing merger negotiations with Chrysler by Friday, industry sources have said.

The expectations arose as GM said on Monday it would release its earnings for the July-September quarter on Friday, according to Kyodo News.

GM also said on Monday its global production this year would likely decline 9% from the previous year to 8.45m vehicles.

Though it has lowered estimates, Toyota projects global output at 9.5m units in 2008 which would make it the world's largest car producer for the second year in a row.

Meanwhile, Chrysler's chairman and CEO has acknowledged talks without naming the parties and a Canadian autoworkers union official said he though a GM-Chrysler deal had been done.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Bob Nardelli told workers in a Monday memo that he couldn't comment on the "third parties" that Chrysler had approached or been approached by that "are interested in exploring future possibilities with Chrysler."

"We do not confirm or disclose the nature of our business meetings, as many times they may not come to fruition," he was reported to have written.

"I want to make it very clear that the difficult actions we have taken in the past, and those that we have just announced, are for one purpose and one purpose only: helping Chrysler survive this economic trough. They are consistent with the actions we took in 2007 to return to profitability," Nardelli wrote, according to the Free Press. "Rumours and speculation that these actions are being taken for any other purpose are simply not true."

"Business conditions require us to resize Chrysler once again, and all of us must continue to focus on the value-added work that will sustain the company through this challenging period and serve as the foundation for growth when the economy inevitably recovers."

Ken Lewenza, Canadian Auto Workers union president, interviewed by the Detroti paper following a ceremony to mark 25 years of minivan production at Chrysler's Windsor, Ontario, assembly plant, said he thought "the deal is done" for GM to merge with Chrysler.

"It's not in the interest of the employees," he told the Detroit Free Press.

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