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STUTTGART, Germany — DaimlerChrysler has agreed to buy Volvo Trucks’ 3.3 per cent stake in Mitsubishi Motors for US$297 million.

The giant DaimlerChrysler already holds 34 per cent of Mitsubishi Motors, with the deal boosting its holding to 37.3 per cent.

“(The deal) will allow a more direct working relationship with Mitsubishi Motors’ commercial vehicle operations,” the company explains.

The move gives the German-U.S. automaker, which is also the parent company of heavy-truck maker Freightliner, a foothold in the Asian truck and bus market.

Volvo, based in Stockholm, Sweden, purchased the stake in Mitsubishi only last year for US$233 million.

Separately, Volvo Trucks chief executive officer Leif Johansson yesterday said he sees no recovery in the North American truck market before the end of the year. He also expects the European market to decline by 10 per cent this year.

Johansson made the comments during a conference call with investment analysts.

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