FRANKFURT (AP) -- German car, truck and bus maker Daimler AG said Monday its Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and Nissan Diesel Motor Co. Ltd. had signed a letter of intent to work more closely together and possibly establish a joint venture in the bus business.
The Japan-based companies will discuss integrating bus operations including planning, research and development, production and sales under a joint company, though Stuttgart-based Daimler said in a statement the companies plan to continue to offer bus product lines under their own brands.
Mitsubishi Fuso and Nissan already cooperate through a supply agreement, Daimler said.
The Mitsubishi Fuso brand is the second-largest manufacturer of light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks in Japan, and one of the largest bus manufacturers. Daimler holds 85 percent in Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus, according to the Daimler 2008 annual report.
"The signing of the letter of intent with Nissan Diesel is an important step for our bus business in Japan and our Asia strategy," said Daimler AG board of management member Andreas Renschler.
"Combining the bus expertise of Fuso and Nissan Diesel is intended to strengthen the competitiveness of both brands."
Shares of Daimler were 1.5 percent lower at euro31.56 ($45.13) in Frankfurt afternoon trading.