General Motors will not make a first-round bid for DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler unit, leaving just private equity firms and an auto parts supplier in the running, the Times reported on Wednesday.
Unnamed sources close to the talks were quoted in the newspaper as saying GM decided against making the bid because the company felt it had no need for the extra capacity.
The Times said bid proposals were due to be submitted on Friday to U.S. investment bank JPMorgan Chase, which the paper said is advising DaimlerChrysler.
Neither GM nor JPMorgan were immediately available for comment.
Bidders left in the ring included Canadian auto parts supplier Magna International, which is thought to have teamed up with private equity group Ripplewood, it said.
Private equity firms Cerberus Capital Management and a combination of Blackstone Group and Centerbridge were also in the frame, the Times added.
Magna declined to comment and the four private equity firms were not available for comment.
People familiar with the matter have told Reuters that Cerberus, Blackstone and Magna have emerged as the leading candidates for Chrysler Group, now the No. 4 U.S. automaker.
GM also had spoken to Chrysler about expanded cooperation in vehicle development or a potential acquisition, according to those familiar with the talks.