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Nissan Motor Co. and Daimler-Benz AG are negotiating to cooperate in the areas of commercial vehicle components as well as vans and light trucks, the two companies said Tuesday.

The firms said they are currently negotiating three specific areas, but it is still possible that cooperation may expand to other areas in the future, including sales of passenger cars, especially in Europe.

The two firms said they are considering the joint opening of new markets for the commercial vehicle component business, including axles and drive trains. They also plan to develop joint platforms for their new vans and light trucks, and Nissan may provide its technology for Datsun pickup trucks to Daimler-Benz for new light trucks the German firm plans to manufacture in Brazil, according to the automakers.

Daimler-Benz produces heavy trucks in Brazil and plans to make pickup trucks there as early as 1999. While Daimler sells around 38,000 commercial vehicles in Brazil, Nissan has neither production nor sales bases in the South American country.

The two firms denied widespread speculation of capital participation in each other’s company or that Daimler would invest capital in Nissan Diesel Motor Co., Nissan’s truck manufacturing affiliate.

A statement announced by Daimler-Benz also said that Daimler’s capital participation in Nissan Diesel is not a condition for closer cooperation and that current speculation over capital participation is premature.

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