Japan's Nissan Motor would consider joining a potential alliance between its French partner Renault and Daimler, the Nikkei business daily reported today.
Shares of Renault and Daimler rose on Tuesday on media reports that the two car makers were in talks about taking stakes in each other as part of possible alliance.
In response to the reports, Renault and Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said only that he was open to equity exchanges. Ghosn has often said that the alliance, cemented by Renault's 44 per cent stake in Nissan, could be open to a third partner.
The Nikkei quoted an unnamed Nissan executive as saying that it could potentially join such an alliance if it materialised.
Nissan spokesman Yosuke Nagatomo declined to comment.
The Nikkei report helped push Nissan shares up 2.5 per cent to 774 yen, outperforming rivals Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor and the benchmark Nikkei average, which gained 1.2 per cent.
Nissan, Japan's No. 3 automaker, will begin selling its first electric car later this year. It has bet heavily on electric cars, and a deal with Daimler could secure it a steady customer, an analyst said.
"The alliance with Daimler could lead to Nissan supplying its electric cars to the German automaker. If that happens, it would boost Nissan's EV car business while it is in an early stage," said Yoshihiko Tabei, chief analyst at Kazaka Securities.
Daimler has been looking for partners to position itself for growth in the market for zero-emission cars. It has plans to develop electric cars for China with battery maker BYD.
The Financial Times had said in its Tuesday edition that Daimler and Renault were in talks about taking equity stakes in each other to forge long-term cooperation, citing two unnamed sources.