DaimlerChrysler plans to increase its shareholding in Japanese truck partner Mitsubishi Fuso, an industry source told Reuters on Tuesday, adding that DC, seeking to reap the benefits of scale after buying stakes in several companies and merging with Chrysler in recent years, may take a majority stake early next year.

According to the report. Fuso is currently owned by DaimlerChrysler and struggling Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi Motors, in which DC has a 37% holding.

Reuters said Mitsubishi Fuso and DaimlerChrysler already share parts and are jointly developing engines for large trucks and noted that DC has said all options are open for furthering their joint activities and achieving cost savings.

According to the report, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper reported Mitsubishi would sell its entire 42% stake in Fuso to DaimlerChrysler and others for 100 billion yen ($US932 million).

The daily reportedly said Mitsubishi, Japan's fourth largest car maker, planned to sell 22% of the unlisted truck-making company to its German parent and the remaining 20% to Mitsubishi group firms early next year.

The deal suggested by the newspaper would boost DaimlerChrysler's stake in Mitsubishi Fuso to 65% from 43%, Reuters said, adding that the remaining 15% is owned by Mitsubishi group companies, including trader Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.