General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

rallied and lifted other automotive shares following reports its union might be willing to give ground in healthcare negotiations.

GM gained $3.36, or 10.5%, to $35.17. The stock is up 16% over the last four sessions, having caught a bid Wednesday when Kirk Kerkorian revealed that his $31-a-share bid for up to 28 million shares was significantly undersubscribed.

Sparking Friday's move was a report in the

Detroit Free Press

that 100 local leaders of the United Auto Workers had authorized leadership to explore ways of helping the No. 1 automaker cut health care costs.

Their vote stopped short of authorizing the formal reopening of the UAW contract, which runs through September 2007. Wall Street nevertheless welcomed the news, with Morgan Stanley calling it an incremental positive for the company and the industry.

The story came three days after GM's chief executive, Rick Wagoner, told a shareholders' meeting that the company needed to reduce its health care obligation if it wanted to compete with foreign competitors.

Other stocks moving higher on the news are

Ford

(F) - Get Report

, up 10%;

Lear

(LEA) - Get Report

, up 3.4%;

Delphi

( DPH), up 7%; and

Visteon

(VC) - Get Report

, up 4%.

On Tuesday, Wagoner said GM plans to cut at least 25,000 jobs over the next four years as it closes assembly and component plants and revamps its product line. The company has been stung by competition from abroad and domestic tastes that have shifted away from its gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles.

Despite this week's run, GM shares remain down more than 10% on the year. They were pummeled in March when the company slashed its earnings estimate for 2005 and again in April when Standard & Poor's cut its bond rating to junk status.