A Japanese newspaper has reported that Honda and Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) are close to a deal to produce piston engines for light aircraft. But neither company is apparently willing to confirm or deny the report. The Nihon Keizai newspaper said Honda and Teledyne are in final negotiations on a 50-50 venture to market the engine in the U.S. But Honda spokesman Jeffrey Smith told Bloomberg News the report is premature ... in spite of the fact the companies had been telling us to expect an announcement before 2004. "Reports regarding the outcome of the discussions are speculative," Smith said. The news article didn't say where it got the information. Talks have been going on between the two companies for almost a year and they began testing Honda's lightweight, fuel-efficient engine at a facility in Mobile, Ala., in 2000. Last week, Honda announced a partnership with GE to build jet engines for small jets. The companies claim the engine will be more efficient than comparable models from competitors.