Kobe Steel Ltd , Japan's No.4 steelmaker, said on Tuesday it was in talks with China's Anshan Iron and Steel Group to jointly build a plant for high-strength automotive steel sheets in China, in a bid to tap growing demand for lighter vehicles there.

Details such as the location and production capacity of the facility are yet to be set, Kobe Steel said.

China's car production capacity is expected to increase to 30 million units by 2015, according to estimates by the country's National Development and Reform Commission. China's car output exceeded 18 million units in 2010.

Bigger rivals Nippon Steel Corp and JFE Holdings both operate high-end galvanised automotive sheet plants in China.