September 9, 2012 / 3:43 PM / 8 years ago

Daimler seeks to extend van partnership with Volkswagen

A shareholder arrives to a Daimler AG annual shareholder meeting in Berlin, April 4, 2012. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

STUTTGART (Reuters) - Daimler (DAIGn.DE) will reach out to Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) in September to see whether a partnership to build light commercial vehicles can be extended, as VW forges ahead with closer ties to truck manufacturer MAN (MANG.DE).

“I will get together with the VW commercial vehicles chief and explore possibilities for further cooperation,” Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, told Reuters in comments embargoed for Sunday.

Mornhinweg said he will meet his counterpart from VW at the IAA international motor show for commercial vehicles in Hanover, Germany. The show runs from September 20 -27.

Daimler and VW currently cooperate on transporter vans. As well as building the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Daimler makes VW’s Crafter van, which shares the same technology platform.

Daimler builds around 40,000 Crafter vans at a plant in Duesseldorf, but this deal is set to expire in 2016.

In March, VW said it may decide not to extend the pact with Daimler to develop the Crafter’s successor model after Volkswagen took a majority stake in MAN last November.

Daimler is large enough to survive even if the partnership deal is not extended, Mornhinweg said, adding Daimler would again offer to include VW in an alliance with French car maker Renault (RENA.PA).

Earlier this year, Daimler and Nissan struck a deal on trucks under which Daimler’s Japanese truck unit Mitsubishi Fuso will supply its Fuso Canter light truck to Nissan, while Nissan will make the Atlas F24 truck available to Fuso.

Reporting By Hendrik Sackmann; writing by Edward Taylor; editing by Jason Neely

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