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Nissan, Chrysler Will Team Up on Car

Will be sold in South America

Nissan Motor Co. and Chrysler said Jan. 11 they will team up on a car to be sold in South America as the automakers look to cooperate in trying times. Under the deal, Japan's third largest automaker will build a new sedan for Chrysler next year based on its compact Versa -- which is also sold in some markets as the Latio or Tiida.

Chrysler LLC president Tom LaSorda said the deal would let the company sell the car in South America without the costs of building a new plant or developing a product. "This partnership will give Chrysler nearly immediate access to vehicle segments in which we do not currently operate," LaSorda said in a joint statement with Nissan. It is the second such deal between the companies after a 2004 agreement for a Nissan affiliate to supply Chrysler with transmissions. "Nissan has a successful track record of win-win product exchanges," said Nissan executive vice president Carlos Tavares.

Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has spoken of the need to find a U.S. partner for the company, in which France's Renault holds a controlling stake. Talks broke down in 2006 for a three-way, three-continent alliance with General Motors.

Nissan has reported four straight quarters of falling profits, although Ghosn has predicted the company will post a rise in net profit for the full year thanks to new product launches.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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