When fame makes sense of it all
Renault, Mercedes and Nissan
French automaker Renault, Japan's Nissan and Germany's Daimler AG (Mercedes) will form a partnership to exchange capital, develop cars and share expertise, the companies announced in a statement today. As part of the deal, the Renault-Nissan alliance will take a 3.1 percent stake in Daimler, while Daimler will take 3.1 percent of Renault and 3.1 percent of Nissan, they said. Renault-Nissan and Daimler, which makes the luxury Mercedes-Benz line and the Smart small car, also agreed to work together to develop small cars and engines and collaborate in the field of light commercial vehicles.
As part of the linkup, Daimler will swap a 3.1 percent stake, valued at 1.17 billion euros ($1.6 billion), for shares in Renault SA and in Nissan Motor Co., the three carmakers said in a joint statement today. Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche and Carlos Ghosn, who heads France’s Renault and its 44 percent-owned Japanese affiliate, will lead a new committee that will oversee the partnership.
Under the accord, the carmakers will develop common parts and architecture for a new generation of Renault Twingo and Smart subcompacts to go on sale in 2013 with conventional and electric powertrains. Cooperation on engines and transmissions will extend further, with Renault-Nissan providing powertrains for a future range of Mercedes-Benz compacts, as well as the Smart and Twingo models. Daimler in turn will make its larger gasoline and diesel engines available for Infiniti. Renault will supply Daimler with a small delivery van, to be assembled in Maubeuge, northern France, as well as engines and transmissions for the mid-sized Mercedes Vito.
“It is the intention of both groups to create a long-term framework to work closely on future areas of cooperation between Renault, Nissan and Daimler.” While Daimler, Renault and Nissan will remain separate companies, the alliance has the potential to challenge the world’s largest automakers. Combined sales of the three manufacturers totaled 6.7 million cars and light vehicles last year, which would overtake Volkswagen’s 6.3 million.
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