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A major new alliance of international automakers is nearing agreement, published reports from Italy said. But spokesmen for Turin-based Fiat declined to comment on plans to sell at least 10 percent of the company's stock to General Motors or DaimlerChrysler. Such a move would end Italy's independence in motor-vehicle production. Fiat is the world's seventh-largest maker of cars, but its profit margin last year was one of the lowest in the industry.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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