The ongoing merger-acquisition talks between Chrysler and General Motors are expected to bear fruit in the form of an announcement this Friday revealing some of the details being discussed. The timing of the announcement coincides with GM's release of its third-quarter earnings report, which is expected to reflect the global drop in sales volumes.

Chrysler and General Motors both have remained almost completely silent on the subject of a merger between the two, refusing to even confirm the topic had arisen. Nevertheless, the discussions are clearly leading toward some cooperative end, as both companies are struggling to stay afloat in the current economic trough.

The possibility of the GM-Chrysler merger has already hit a number of stumbling blocks, including the U.S. Treasury's refusal to extend an estimated $10 billion loan to help fund the deal. Previous reports had pegged the merger talks to wrap up before the presidential elections, but with President-elect Barack Obama headed to the White House in January, the industry as a whole is looking for more assistance from Washington. GM was among the first to put in such a request, even as it congratulated Obama for his win.

If the two companies do merge, it could result in up to 40,000 jobs lost and all but seven of Chrysler's models being axed.