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Nissan and Daimler sign Mexico venture plan: source

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[March 15, 2014]  By Laurence Frost

PARIS (Reuters)  Nissan <7201.T> and Daimler <DAIGn.DE> have agreed on plans for a 50-50 Mexican joint venture designed to produce future vehicle models for their Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz brands, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

The carmakers signed a memorandum of understanding last month to create the venture, according to the person, who asked not to be named because the plans are confidential.

Sources told Reuters last week that an outline deal between the companies would see Nissan build the next-generation Mercedes GLA offroader and all-new Infiniti cars at its Aguascalientes plant northeast of Guadalajara.

Neither carmaker would confirm the Mexico production plan.

Mercedes, Nissan and alliance partner Renault <RENA.PA> have shared engines, plants and vehicle architectures for small cars and vans since Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn announced a broad-based partnership in 2010, underpinned by token reciprocal shareholdings.

Nissan announced plans in 2012 to build a first Infiniti model based on the current Mercedes compact car architecture. Production is due to start in Sunderland, northeast England next year.

(Additional reporting by Edward Taylor; editing by Jane Barrett and Mark Potter)

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