TOKYO (Reuters) -- Nissan Motor Co., responding to a media report, said on Sunday it was not discussing a wide-ranging alliance with Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) in areas other than the minivehicle segment.
The Nihon Keizai Shimbun business daily had said that the two automakers were negotiating a broad-based alliance in their passenger car operations beyond a possible strengthening of their ties in the 660cc mini vehicle sector.
"We should have a decision on any conclusion in the minivehicle discussions soon, but the talks only involve minicars," a Nissan official said, adding that an announcement should come in the next few weeks.
A spokesman at Mitsubishi Motors said MMC was in talks with Nissan on a broad range of topics but no decisions had been made.
Japanese media have reported that the two firms would form a joint venture to make and develop minivehicles, in which Nissan, Japan's second-biggest automaker, would take a majority stake. The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported on Saturday that a joint company would be set up as early as next spring. Mitsubishi Motors will include the tie-up in a revival plan to be compiled in mid-December and hopes it will lead to further tie-ups with Nissan in areas such as joint car development and joint procurement of auto parts, the newspaper said.
Mitsubishi Motors, Japan's only unprofitable carmaker, is struggling to rebuild itself after former majority owner DaimlerChrysler gave up on it in April and a defect cover-up scandal led customers to flee its brand.
Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn has said that Nissan would have to retain control of any joint venture company without taking on any assets or liabilities of its struggling rival.
Analysts have said, however, that MMC would be reluctant to agree such a deal because the mini vehicle segment was one of its strong areas and it would want to retain control.