STUTTGART, Germany (AP) _ Mercedes-Benz is considering allowing Porsche to use part of its new Alabama factory to build its own brand of sport utility vehicles, a Mercedes spokesman said Monday.

``We're currently studying whether it would be possible,'' the Mercedes spokesman said. But he added that no final decisions have been made yet.

According to a weekend report in the German magazine Der Spiegel, Porsche would base its model on Mercedes' M-Class vehicle, which is to be launched in the U.S. some time next year.

Spiegel cited a memo from Michael Bassermann, head of Mercedes-Benz of North America, to Mercedes dealers as saying there will be a Porsche model of the sports utility vehicle in addition to Mercedes' M-Class.

Porsche's model would have a somewhat different body and a different motor, and is to be more expensive than Mercedes' model, Spiegel reported.

A spokesman for Porsche couldn't be reached immediately.