TURIN — France's Matra Automobile may build Audi AG's small aluminum car, the AL2 at its Romorantin, France, plant. The company is close to signing an agreement to build the ultra-light commuter car first presented at the 1997 Frankfurt auto show. Matra is known for its experience with aluminum, a material Audi extensively uses on its A8 and upcoming AL2.

Matra is best known for developing and producing the Renault Espace. Starting next spring, Matra also will also build the Avantime, a sport-Espace luxury vehicle due to be unveiled in concept form at next month's Geneva auto show.