WSJ: Chrysler May Partner with Nissan

July 31 (Reuters) – Chrysler LLC is exploring a deal to make trucks for Japan's Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (NSANY.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) as part of a move to prop up the U.S. firm's finances with foreign tie-ups, the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The news comes a day after Reuters reported Chrysler is in talks with many overseas partners, including India's Tata Motors Ltd (TAMO.BO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Italy's Fiat (FIA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), according to people briefed on the talks.

Chrysler, the number three U.S. automaker, has been in discussions with Tata about arrangements to sell its Jeep Wrangler SUV in India and possibly other Asian markets.

Chrysler has also been talking to Fiat about leasing production capacity from Chrysler in North America and cooperating in retail distribution in the U.S. market, the people familiar with the talks said.

Chrysler and Nissan did not immediately return calls or e-mails seeking comment.

Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management [CBS.UL], the majority stakeholder in Chrysler, is now more concerned about Chrysler's ability to turn around on its own and has stepped up efforts to reach out to foreign car companies, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Chrysler is tightening spending and rethinking some development projects, the Journal said, citing people close to the company. In one such scrutiny, Chrysler is reconsidering how many of the so-called Phoenix engines it will need in the future, they said, according to the newspaper.

Chrysler has also started exploring whether other auto makers would be interested in using part of a Dundee, Michigan plant that makes four-cylinder engines, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter. (Reporting by Varsha Tickoo in Bangalore; Editing by Paul Bolding)