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Daimler sees decision on Nissan, Mexico by year-end

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Daimler is examining the joint production of small luxury vehicles with Japan's Nissan Motor <7201.T> at a Nissan plant in Mexico, and expects a decision by the end of the year, a group board member told a German newspaper.

"This would be an option, if our compact cars business in North America performs well," Andreas Renschler, who is also head of production for Mercedes, was quoted as saying in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published on Saturday.

"It will be decided at the end of the year," he added.

Two sources told Reuters on Tuesday that Nissan Motor and Daimler would build small Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz luxury cars at Nissan's $2-billion Aguascalientes plant, which will open late this year next to an existing Nissan assembly plant.

The plant in Mexico is expected to build the new Infiniti Q30, a compact four-door hatchback that will share engines and some chassis components with the Mercedes-Benz GLA, the sources said.

The 2015 GLA, a compact crossover vehicle similar in size to the Q30, will go on sale next spring in Europe and next fall in the United States, Mercedes-Benz has said. The GLA is one of several candidates for future production at Aguascalientes, the sources said.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; editing by Mike Collett-White)

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