Mitsubishi Motors is in talks to buy a stake in Taiwan-based China Motor Co.’s venture in the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian, according to Bloomberg News.

“Mitsubishi has expressed an interest in buying a stake and the companies are in talks,” Zheng Zhengda, assistant to the general manager at South East (Fujian) Motor Corp., China Motor’s venture with Fujian Automobile Industry Corp., told the news agency, though Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Motors declined to comment.

Bloomberg News noted that Mitsubishi is trying to expand outside the US to reduce its reliance on that market, where it gets most of its profit, while Toyota, Honda and other car makers are stepping up investment in ventures in China, to increase their presence in the fastest-growing large car market in the world.

“It makes sense for Japanese car makers to have several alliances in China, enabling them to expand faster,” Yoshio Inamura, who helps manage the equivalent of about $US335 million at Tokyo-Mitsubishi Asset Management, told Bloomberg News.

Citing the London-based World Markets Research Centre, Bloomberg News said the Chinese market is forecast to grow by a quarter this year, while European sales may drop 4.3% with a 3% decline in North America.