Rick Wagoner, General Motors’ chief executive, has confirmed that the US carmaker is in preliminary talks about acquiring a stake in Proton, Malaysia’s struggling national carmaker.

GM is the third foreign carmaker to have expressed interest in Proton, which is hoping to find a strategic partner by March in an effort to reverse falling sales. Volkswagen and PSA Peugeot Citroën, which both lack a manufacturing base in south-east Asia, have also said they are looking to invest in Proton.

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