TOKYO -- Struggling Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is in final talks with France's PSA Peugeot Citroen SA for tie-ups to revive its faltering business, media said Friday.
The Nihon Keizai newspaper said the deal could include capital aid from the French automaker, while public broadcaster NHK said Mitsubishi could begin supplying SUVs and minivans to Peugeot.
A pact could be signed as early as next week, NHK said.
Mitsubishi said in a statement that the reports were speculation although it also said the company has been studying the possibility of partnerships in individual businesses to strengthen its efforts to achieve a business revival as soon as possible.
Mitsubishi, owned 22 percent by DaimlerChrysler AG, mapped out an aggressive revitalization plan in May but is working to revise some details.
One new plan is expected to involve a stronger tie-up with bigger rival Nissan Motor Co. in the minivehicle segment, Mitsubishi group sources said.
On Thursday, media reported that the two companies were in talks to form a venture dedicated to building minivehicles, which have engines of up to 660cc, folding in Mitsubishi's Mizushima plant, which produces the Pajero Mini, Clipper and other small trucks.
Japanese newspapers said on Friday that Mitsubishi's possible tie-up with Peugeot included an original equipment manufacturing agreement under which Mitsubishi would make minivans for Peugeot, and a possible joint production in North America.
Mitsubishi had announced earlier this year that it may cut its U.S. production capacity by up to a third, or to 120,000 units a year, as part of its efforts to chip away at loss-making operations.
But Mitsubishi's U.S. sales have fallen more than initial estimates since coverups of defects in its vehicles resurfaced this year, and Mitsubishi would try to maintain current production levels through OEM pacts, media said.