Renault has reportedly backed out of a joint project with Daimler-owned Smart that would have seen the carmakers produce a trio of new light cars.
Forming part of the Renault-Nissan alliance's wider technology partnership with Daimler, the project would have led to new Smart ForTwo and ForFour models, along with a next-generation Renault Twingo.
Now, new reports overseas suggest Renault is shoring up its funds and resources ahead of an expected downturn in European sales.
Spy photos in recent months suggest that development of the next ForTwo is now well underway - although, if this latest report is accurate, Smart will soon be left to develop the new model on its own.
The report, with Britain's Car magazine, adds that Renault's exit will see the launch of the new ForTwo pushed back to 2014, rather than in 2013 as originally planned.
It has also been reported that the larger new platform is heavier than expected - leading to higher fuel consumption figures - although increased interior space should see the new model's appeal grow.
For their part, Renault and Daimler have yet to confirm any changes to the existing partnership.