This is something to keep an eye on; buried at the end of this Reuter’s article shows the possible plan — a joint Lexus /Mercedes-Benz auto?

Toyota (7203.T) is considering building derivatives of Mercedes-Benz’s (DAIGn.DE) A-Class and B-Class cars on its own so-called MC platform to better utilise its European plants in the long term, a German magazine said on Wednesday.

Citing sources at Toyota’s Tokyo headquarters, auto motor und sport wrote that the company was thinking about the generation of Mercedes compacts due to follow the upcoming version, which is scheduled to be introduced in 2011.

Typically, model lifecycle can last at least 6 years, so any production at a Toyota factory would not likely happen until at least 2017.

According to the article, the two companies could also look at sharing development costs and even examine the possible joint production of Toyota’s Lexus LS flagship luxury saloon and its Mercedes counterpart, the S-Class, the best selling car in its segment. – from Reuters