Mitsubishi and Peugeot are negotiating a possible "strategic partnership" that could result in the French group taking control of the troubled Japanese car maker.
AFP - French auto maker PSA Peugeot Citroen acknowledged Thursday it was talking to Japan's Mitsubishi Motors about a potential "strategic partnership."
"PSA confirms having started discussions with Mitsubishi Motors Company to jointly study possible ways to enlarge our relations which could go as far as a strategic partnership," it said in a brief French-language statement.
Mitsubishi Motors said earlier Thursday it was in talks with PSA Peugeot Citroen on enhanced cooperation, as a Japanese newspaper report said the French group is set to take control of the troubled Japanese auto maker.
"It is only the start of discussions," a Peugeot spokesman told AFP, refusing to confirm the talks were dealing with the auto maker taking a stake in Mitsubishi.
Peugeot's chairman Philippe Varin -- who has said it is "essential" for the group to significantly raise its presence in emerging markets -- has indicated that he has not ruled out "capital alliances," the spokesman added.
Were they to come together, Peugeot and Mitsubishi would be the world's sixth-largest auto maker, based on their total sales of 4.45 million vehicles last year.
Mitsubishi and Peugeot have been cooperating in vehicle supply and future joint production in Russia but are negotiating a deeper alliance, Mitsubishi spokesman Kai Inada told AFP in Tokyo.
"We are discussing possible projects that could be beneficial to both companies. A capital tie-up is one of the options," he said, stressing nothing has been decided on whether they will go ahead with a capital alliance.
The Nikkei economic daily said Peugeot was in the final stages of talks with Mitsubishi to effectively take over the Japanese company, which posted a first-half net loss of just over 400 million dollars as global sales slumped.
The combination would create the world's sixth-largest automobile alliance with combined sales of roughly 4.45 million vehicles in 2008.
In its statement, PSA Peugeot Citroen pointed out it has already jointly developed all-wheel-drive Peugeot 4007 and Citroen C-Crosser vehicles with Mitsubishi Motors.
The two auto makers have also worked together on electric vehicles, it said.
Date created : 2009-12-03