January 28, 2011 / 3:22 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Mazda to supply Mazda5 minivan to Nissan in Japan

* Nissan-badged Mazda5 to sell in Japan from May

* Nissan seeks investment efficiency with OEM deal

* OEM to help Mazda boost production (Adds details, background)

TOKYO, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T) will begin supplying its Mazda5/Premacy minivan under Nissan Motor Co’s (7201.T) badge for sale in Japan starting in May, the two companies said on Friday.

Nissan and Mazda, Japan’s No.2 and No.5 automakers, have other original equipment manufacturing (OEM) deals under which Mazda provides its Bongo van and truck models to Nissan, while Nissan supplies the AD/AD Expert van to Mazda.

Under intensifying competition, automakers are increasingly sharing vehicles and technology to lower development costs and expand their product offerings more cheaply.

Last month, Nissan — among the most aggressive in seeking such deals — announced plans to expand operational cooperation with Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T) to supply vehicles to each other. [ID:nSGE6BC0CO]

The Mazda5 is one of Mazda’s core global models, sold in about 60 countries. Last year, Mazda sold about 82,750 Mazda5s globally, up 3.7 percent from 2009.

At the midday break in Tokyo, shares of Nissan and Mazda were both up 0.8 percent, the only Japanese automakers in positive territory. The announcement came after the end of morning trade. (Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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