HANOVER, Germany (June 25)—Continental A.G. and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.'s global tire activities will work more closely, starting later this year with a joint venture in Japan to promote sales of their tires to Japanese vehicle makers. Conti and Yokohama executives signed a letter of intent covering their intentions June 25. Among the key provisions are stronger cooperation in tire production—particularly in the North American Free Trade Area—and on technological collaboration, Continental said. For its part, Yokohama will support Conti's efforts to build market share in the Japanese replacement market, Conti said. In addition, the companies will evaluate opportunities for other possibilities, including joint purchasing of raw materials. Conti Chairman Stephan Kessel said the deal will enhance both companies' competitive positions and expand the reach of their respective products to the global automotive industry.