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TOKYO, JAPAN — Truck maker Volvo AB may be selling its stake in Mitsubishi Motors to DaimlerChrysler for US$402 million, a Japanese newspaper is reporting.

Without citing its sources, the newspaper Yomiuri says DaimlerChrysler would develop trucks with the Japanese company if it buys Volvo’s 3.3 per cent stake.

Volvo wants the payment to cover loss in value of its Mitsubishi stake, which has fallen to about 17 billion yen, according to Yomiuri. The deal would increase DaimlerChrysler’s stake in Mitsubishi to 37 per cent, the largest held by any one investor.

Although it and Mitsubishi have so far only announced discussions toward making passenger cars, the bid is seen as a play to cut Volvo out of a niche of the truck business.

The two European automakers reportedly began discussing the transaction after Volvo decided to abandon 1999 plans to make commercial vehicles with Mitsubishi.

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