Iveco, Hyundai Motor to explore collaboration on vehicle tech, supply

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MILAN, March 7 (Reuters) - Italian truck, bus and engine maker Iveco group (IVG.MI) said on Monday it hadsigned a preliminary deal with South Korea's Hyundai Motor Company (005380.KS) to explore collaboration on shared vehicle technology, joint sourcing and mutual supply.

The two companies singed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which marks a preliminary step in assessing potential cooperations in technology and platforms, encompassing components and systems, Iveco saidin a statement.

"The areas of possible mutual interest are electric powertrains and platforms such as fuel-cell systems, vehicle automation and connectivity for commercial vehicles," the company said without providing details.

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Analysts have often seen Iveco as a potential M&A target, given its smaller size compared to European rivals like Volkswagen's Traton , Daimler Truck (DTGGe.DE) or Volvo Group (VOLVb.ST).

The agreement with Hyundai is in line with the two group's "independent strategies", Iveco said.

A potential cooperation with Hyundai will not affect Iveco's partnership with U.S. company Nikola (NKLA.O) on electric and hydrogen heavy trucks, a spokesman for the Italian company said.

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Reporting by Cristina Carlevaro and Giulio Piovaccari; editing by Giulia Segreti and Bernadette Baum

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