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GENEVA – Toyota Motor Corp. President Katsuaki Watanabe says the auto maker has no interest in purchasing or taking a stake in Chrysler Group.

DaimlerChrysler AG indicated it would consider selling its U.S. subsidiary after another poor earnings performance last year. Chrysler lost $1.4 billion in 2006.

Chrysler and Toyota, which is on track this year to overtake General Motors Corp. this year as the world’s No.1 auto maker based on global production, “may think together,” Watanabe says, meaning the two sides could collaborate on like-minded technologies or in the field of research and development.

“We cannot preclude the possibility of having such discussions,” he tells reporters at the Geneva auto show here, while strongly downplaying any desire to purchase all or a portion of Chrysler.

He also says the status of any collaboration with Ford Motor Co. is on hold, pending the U.S. auto maker’s further interest. New Ford CEO Alan Mulally late last year met with Toyota Chairman Fujio Cho to discuss technology sharing.

Watanabe says he was told the discussions were exploratory, and that Toyota is open to the possibility of working with any interested party.

He also says Toyota has no intention of taking a larger share of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., in which it holds an 8.5% stake, although recent changes in Japanese regulations now allow it to purchase a majority stake in the maker of Subaru cars.

Toyota currently is working to bring production of its midsize Camry sedan on line this spring at Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc.’s plant in Lafayette, IN.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com