Mike Stevens | Mar 7, 2011

Malaysia's Proton has announced the signing of an agreement with Japanese carmaker Nissan to explore the potential for a technology sharing partnership.

The announcement follows news in June last year that similar talks between Proton and Volkswagen had failed, with the German company - the world's third largest automaker - too heavily invested in other areas.

As part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in early March, Proton and Nissan will conduct a feasibility study on the use of Nissan's existing platforms and powertrains in future Proton models.

Proton has been seeking a partner to help cut development costs in its bid to make a stronger impact in foreign markets.

The company has worked with other brands in various arrangements, including Mitsubishi, which currently provides its Lancer models to Proton for the Malaysian market.

The announcement of an MoU comes on the heels of the Proton-owned Lotus taking a major stake in the Renault Formula One team, renaming the team Lotus Renault GP.

Renault's 45 percent stake in Nissan is understood to have paved the way toward discussions between Proton and Nissan.

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