Ford logo According to a report by Japanese business daily Nikkei late last week, Ford is looking to sell a majority of its remaining 11% stake in Mazda – reducing it to 3% or less – to Sumitomo group businesses and other companies with working ties with Mazda.

The daily added that the shares sale is expected to lead towards both automakers slowly parting ways in terms of cooperation. Ford, however, has said that the report is mere speculation, and that its ownership stake in Mazda remains unchanged.

In acquiring 25% of Mazda’s outstanding shares, Ford became Mazda’s top shareholder in 1979, and in 1996 gained management control when it raised its stake to 33.4%.