French auto group Renault is looking at ways of cooperating with Japanese firm Mitsubishi Motors which would fall short of a cross-holding of capital, the newspaper Le Figaro reported on Friday.
The newspaper cited an unnamed source at Renault as saying that "what we could do would be in the same style as joint projects between Renault and Mercedes."
Mercedes is part of the German group Daimler with which Renault is developing models to replace the small Renault car Twingo and the small vehicle Smart made by Mercedes.
They also cooperate in the area of commercial vehicles and on engines.
Mitsubishi, which sold about 987,000 vehicles last year, tried three years ago to form an ambitious alliance with the other big French auto group PSA Peugeot Citroen.
Mitsubishi now finds itself increasingly isolated in terms of alliances in the global auto industry.
However, Mitsubishi does have some links with Japanese group Nissan which is controlled by Renault.
Mitsubishi and Nissan own a company specialising in making cars with very small engines which are popular in Japan.
They also have other cooperative ventures, the newspaper said.
The report said that about 30 projects involving Mitsubishi, Renault and, or Nissan were being studied.
An unidentified source at Renault told the newspaper that some of these projects would get under way, but did not provide details.