FRANKFURT -- DaimlerChrysler's Smart small car business is in advanced talks with six European companies interested in reviving Smart's canceled roadster model, the Financial Times newspaper said on Monday.
Smart pulled the plug in April on the two-seat roadster and canceled a planned offroad model as part of its campaign to halt losses and break even by 2007. Finding a partner for the roadster could generate some income for the business, the paper said.
The FT quoted spokesman Heinz Gottwick as saying the talks had reached a point where DaimlerChrysler would decide early next year on how to proceed.
He said Smart had been approached by "many, many" companies about licensing or buying the rights for the roadster.
One of the interested parties is the ProjectKimber consortium that unsuccessfully bid for collapsed British carmaker MG Rover, the paper said.
"I can confirm that we have been approached by many companies in Europe about the licensing rights, but we are not giving a number or any names," a Smart spokeswoman said, declining to give any other details.