FRANKFURT - German industrial conglomerate Siemens could join a troubled group charged with developing Germany's pioneering road toll system in a last-minute bid to save the project, a German newspaper reported on Thursday.
Siemens, which is already developing tracking devices to be installed on trucks running on German highways and the software for them, could also take a stake in the Toll Collect consortium, German daily Berliner Zeitung said, without citing anyone.
Germany on Tuesday cancelled its contract with Toll Collect, currently owned by phone carrier Deutsche Telekom, carmaker DaimlerChrysler and France's Cofiroute, after the group missed two deadlines to introduce the system.
Toll Collect still has a two-month grace period to salvage the deal, however, with a new proposal for the system's launch and for damage payments for the delays.
Germany is missing out on annual revenues of 2.1 billion euros ($2.7 billion), which had been earmarked to fund road and rail projects, due to the failed launch of the system.
A Deutsche Telekom board member said earlier this year he could imagine Siemens joining Toll Collect.
Berliner Zeitung quoted a company spokesman as saying Siemens had been asked to help out with software development, although he declined comment on the possibility it could take a stake.
Siemens could not immediately be reached for comment.