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Ford (F) - Get Free Report is considering selling its controlling stake in Japanese automaker Mazda, according to a published media report.

It wasn't clear how much of the 33.4% stake Ford was thinking of putting up for sale, said the report, published Saturday on

The Wall Street Journal's

Web site. But the anonymous source cited by the report said Ford is considering a broad range of asset sales as it prepares to announce third-quarter results later this month. The Detroit automaker is expected to report substantial losses and is facing questions about its cash position, the report noted.

A spokesperson for Ford Asia Pacific declined to comment, while Mazda reportedly said it was not aware of any plans by Ford to sell its stake, according to the report.

Ford acquired a 25% stake in Mazda in 1979 and upped that share to 33.4% in 1996, when Mazda was having problems, the report noted.

Like cross-town rival

General Motors

(GM) - Get Free Report

, Ford is struggling with slowing sales in a difficult industry environment. Both companies Friday said they had no plans to file for bankruptcy. Their announcements were aimed at assuaging nervous investors in the wake of a decision by Standard & Poor's on Thursday to put both companies on negative CreditWatch, indicating their credit ratings might be cut again.

Ford shares finished Friday down 9 cents at $1.99. GM shares ended the session up 13 cents at $4.89.

This article was written by a staff member of