French car group Renault had no comment on Wednesday on a report that Bill Ford had called its chairman and chief executive Carlos Ghosn to explore possible cooperation.

The Wall Street Journal Europe said Ford recently called Ghosn to say that if the Renault-Nissan alliance decided not to continue alliance talks with General Motors Corp, Ghosn should consider talking to Ford Motor Co.

William Clay (Bill) Ford Jr is the president, chairman, chief executive and chief operating officer of the company founded by his great-grandfather.

Ghosn is chief executive at both Renault and Nissan. We have no information on any phone conversations between Ford and Mr Ghosn and cannot comment on the report, said a spokeswoman for Renault.

Limited teams of GM, Renault and Nissan executives are studying the possible synergies of an alliance and will report back to Ghosn and General Motors Chief Executive Rick Wagoner by mid-October.

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, the largest single shareholder in GM, suggested the three-way tie-up on June 30.

Ford said in July his company was open to alliances but that there were no discussions ongoing.

Ford has acknowledged courting Ghosn for a senior post at Ford in Dearborn but the Brazil-born Frenchman of Lebanese parents declined.

One investment banker who follows the automotive sector closely said recently that a Renault/Nissan link with Ford would be simpler and more effective than one with GM because there would be less overlap of brands.

I'm sure that if Carlos Ghosn doesn't succeed with General Motors he will look at Ford or one of the other players, the banker said, although the strong influence the Ford family exercises at the company could pose an obstacle to any deal.