Peugeot is in talks with Mitsubishi

PEUGEOT CITROEN, the French carmaker, said yesterday it was in talks with Japanese group Mitsubishi about a &ldquo;strategic partnership&rdquo;.<br /><br />The move would see the&nbsp; the pair &ndash; who have already teamed up in Russia to develop electric cars and four-wheel drives &ndash; focus on designing and&nbsp; manufacturing cars for first-time owners, particularly in emerging markets like Asia.<br /><br />The structure of the new partnership has yet to be hammered out, but Peugeot could buy up to a 50 per cent stake in Mitsubishi.<br /><br />If the two automakers were to join forces, they would form the world&rsquo;s seventh-largest car group.<br /><br />A Mitsubishi spokesman said: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s true that we are discussing various possibilities, and a capital tie-up is among them.&rdquo;<br /><br />Mitsubishi reported a $400m loss for the first half of 2009, after making large losses in 2008. Poor sales have dashed hopes for recovery at the group. The Japanese carmaker had previously said it was not looking for any alliances and would go it alone with the backing of the Mitsubishi conglomerate.