German steel maker thyssenkrupp & Japanese industrial group NSK have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore a joint venture between thyssenkrupp Automotive and NSK's steering business. The MoU includes a technological and strategic alignment of the product areas in thyssenkrupp's automotive business with NSK's steering business. The aim is to develop a partnership approach for a joint automotive business. With the signed MoU, both companies agree on a phase of non-binding assessment of the relevant businesses without any preconceived outcomes. A decision on a possible cooperation model is to be taken by both sides by the end of the year.The product range of thyssenkrupp's automotive segment has been realigned in recent years in line with the technological trends of electric mobility, autonomous driving and sustainability. Investments have been made primarily in chassis technologies that are independent of a particular drivetrain. The Automotive segment already generates around 80 percent of its sales with products other than for the internal combustion engine. At the same time as new products have been launched and industrialized, new state-of-the-art production capacities have been established, particularly in the growth regions of North America, China and Eastern Europe.The steering business is also one of NSK's most important product areas in the automotive components business. The product range extends from mechanical components, such as steering columns and steering shafts, to electronically assisted steering systems. NSK Steering’s business activities span the globe with production sites in North America, Europe and Asia.Thyssenkrupp Automotive Technology business segment is one of the leading suppliers and engineering partners to the international automotive industry. Its product and service range includes high-tech components and systems as well as automation solutions for vehicle construction. The product range covers chassis technologies such as steering and damper systems, and the assembly of axle systems as well as engine and motor components for conventional and alternative drive systems. In addition, thyssenkrupp Automotive Technology develops assembly lines for body construction and produces lightweight body parts in series. NSK started its journey manufacturing the first bearings in Japan in 1916, and has since developed into a global organization researching, designing, and manufacturing Motion & ControlTM solutions supporting essential mobility and industry applications. NSK is currently the top supplier of bearings in Japan, and is the third largest supplier in the world by market share. It is also a world leader in electric power steering and ball screw manufacturing and technology.