The Automobilwoche cited a Volvo manager as the first conversation with Daimler, but no concrete plans, while a company spokesman said it was too early to talk about firm projects, although it didn't rule out anyone.
A Daimler spokesman said the company's collaboration with Geely, which has a 10 percent stake in the German automobile manufacturer, was positive, but declined to comment.
Global tariffs accelerated by a trade war between China and the United States, as well as higher investment requirements for electric and autonomous vehicles, are forcing automakers to look for new ways to cut and share costs.
In October, Volvo announced it would merge its engine development and manufacturing assets with Geely's and create a division that would supply next-generation combustion and hybrid engines to both its own brands and potentially others.
The Automobilwoche announced that this new division would go into operation at the end of March, which could be a possible starting point for the cooperation with Daimler. Another step could be a partnership to develop electric drives.
Geely and Daimler have announced that they will build the next generation of smart electric cars in China through a joint venture, and the two companies are also working together on a premium ride hail service in China.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Geely bought Volvo Cars in 2010 from Ford Motor Co
Volvo is already supplying engines for some Geely vehicles, with technology being exchanged through the Geely Lynk brand. Both companies share and develop common vehicle platforms.
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson and Georg Merziger; editing by Jason Neely)