SHANGHAI -- General Motors has negotiated a deal with partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. that will give GM equal control of key decisions in their joint venture, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
GM has a 49 percent stake in the joint venture, Shanghai General Motors Co., while SAIC has a controlling 51 percent share.
GM CEO Dan Akerson told the Journal that the partners plan to split Shanghai GM into two units: sales and operations.
GM would have a 50 percent share of the operations unit, which would make product decisions. SAIC would retain a 51 percent share of the sales unit, which would allow the Chinese automaker to book the joint venture's revenue.
The two automakers must get approval for the deal from Shanghai's municipal authorities and the central government. Akerson told the Journal that he hopes to win approval in the "intermediate to near term."
SAIC gained control of the joint venture in 2009, when a cash-strapped GM sold a 1 percent stake for $84.5 million.
Since then, the two partners have cooperated closely on several ventures, such as the sale of microvans in India and the introduction of a Chinese entry-level car brand, Baojun.
The new agreement cements a relationship between GM and SAIC that is starting to look like a global alliance.