Volkswagen could be interested in a tie-up with Japanese carmaker Suzuki Motor Corp, Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn told a German magazine.
Suzuki would be an interesting partner because of its competency in small cars, he said in an interview with Manager Magazin, due to be published on Friday.
Volkswagen was not immediately available for comment, while Suzuki had no comment.
The magazine said, without citing sources, that Volkswagen was interested in taking a 10 percent stake in Suzuki or forming a joint venture. It said France's Renault as also in talks with Suzuki. Renault was not immediately available.
Suzuki's CEO Osamu Suzuki had told media in late June that he had had no contact with VW, shooting down a Manager Magazin report at the time that Europe's largest carmaker was exploring a deal with its Japanese rival to boost its presence in ultra small cars.
Shares of Volkswagen were down 4.3 percent at 139.70 euros by 4:44 a.m. EDT, while Renault was up 2.6 percent at 2.29 euros.
(Additional reporting Benjamin Mallet in Paris, Arno Schuetze in Hanover and Chang-Ran Kim in Tokyo)
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan)