Nissan, Valeo Reportedly In Talks Over Fuji Parts Unit

TOKYO: Japan's Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. has begun talks with French parts maker Valeo SA over an investment in transmission manufacturing, according to a report today. Under the deal, Valeo was expected to invest in a Nissan unit, JATCO TransTechnology Ltd., Jiji Press news agency said, without specifying the size of the stake involved. Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's COO, was quoted in an interview as saying he was considering ways to make JATCO a world-class parts manufacturer. Ghosn was named Nissan's No. 2 executive after France's Renault SA took a 36.8% stake in the Japanese car maker in March. Valeo is the top parts supplier for Renault. JATCO TransTechnology, based in Fuji, southwest of Tokyo, produces transmissions and is expecting sales of 250 billion yen (US$2.4 billion) in the financial year to next March. It is 99.7% held by Nissan, with JATCO employees owning the remaining stake. A Nissan spokesman says the company was "having talks with several suppliers on capital participation," but declined to confirm Valeo was among them. Valeo already has announced plans to set up a joint venture in Japan with a parts supplier linked to Nissan, Unisia Jecs Corp.

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