DaimlerChrysler is considering possible cooperation with other vehicle manufacturers on its next generation A-class model.

According to Automobilwoche, which quotes internal company sources, a possible cooperation partner is BMW. The report also said DaimlerChrysler is interested in the Mini platform, and possibly others.

Alternative arrangements with other vehicle manufacturers are also possible.

Mercedes-Benz must reduce the cost of its A- and B-class models so that they can deliver a return in the highly competitive European compact segment, as well as in emerging markets such as China and Russia. Cooperating with direct competitors is one way that the company could do this.

Even using engines from other manufacturers is no longer taboo, according to the magazine, although any cooperation with Chrysler, in which the new Daimler AG retains a 20% stake, is no longer on the table.

It is likely that the expensive 'sandwich construction' of the current A-class will be axed. Mercedes-Benz planners expect the next compact platform, due around 2010/2011, to be front wheel drive and to spawn at least three models - a successor to the B-class, a sportier A-class and a future entry-level model.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more