A proposal is being floated atop Nissan Motor Co. for the company to revive efforts to push Renault SA to reduce its stake in the Japanese carmaker and help balance the partnership, a person familiar with the matter said.

The plan would involve both companies cutting their cross-shareholdings and would call for the carmakers to use the funds for joint technology investments that could bolster their alliance, the person said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential matters. It's still early days for the proposal and details such as the timing of any stake sale are undecided, the person said.

For Nissan, an agreement could help bring it a step closer to the independence sought by some executives who have long criticized the lopsided upper hand held by its French partner. Renault may be under more pressure to sell in the face of slumping sales, and automakers around the globe are facing a once-in-a-generation shift toward electrification and automated driving that will require billions of dollars of investments, even as they face shrinking car markets.