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Daimler-Benz AG is likely to be the top shareholder of Nissan Diesel Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co.’s truck manufacturing affiliate, but the Japanese firm will maintain a certain stake in the truck maker, Nissan President Yoshikazu Hanawa said Wednesday.

The companies are not discussing Daimler-Benz’s possible capital participation in Nissan Motor Co. “Currently, that is not on our minds at all, but I don’t know what will happen in the future,” said the president of Japan’s No. 2 automaker.

Earlier this week, the two companies formally announced that they are negotiating to establish cooperative relations in development, production and sales, but declined to comment on Daimler-Benz’s capital investment in Nissan Diesel.

Nissan holds a 39.8 percent share of Nissan Diesel, which is suffering from sluggish sales at home and in other Asian nations. Nissan Diesel expects to post a pretax loss of 1.2 billion yen in the 1997 business year, which ended March 31.

Hanawa admitted that Nissan and the German automaker are vigorously attempting to conclude a cooperative agreement in more than 10 areas. He expressed hope that the two companies will reach an agreement by the time of Nissan’s general shareholders’ meeting in late June. “I’ve told our company employees that we should cooperate with Daimler-Benz in every possible area,” Hanawa said, hinting that cooperation may expand to include the passenger car segment in the future.

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