It has been announced that German carmaker Daimler is to give Renault and Nissan, who have been in an alliance since 1999, a 3.1% stake in its business as part of a global tie-up of the brands,
In a deal that will see the companies remain separate, but allow them to share technology and development costs, Daimler will take a 3.1% stake in both Renault and Nissan in exchange.
The companies will co-operate on the development of the Smart car brand – made by Daimler – and a new Renault Twingo, including electric versions, the companies said. Engines currently made by Renault-Nissan will also be modified to fit a new range of compact Mercedes Benz cars. The companies said that the cars would be based on “jointly-developed architecture”, but would still differ from each other in terms of product design.
Commenting on the deal, Daimler’s chairman Dr Dieter Zetsche said it was “a promising foundation” that would allow the companies to share resources.
“Our skills complement each other very well,” he said.
“We know that we can make brand-typical products based on shared architectures. The individual brand identities will remain unaffected.”
Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, said the new tie-up would be able to benefit from Renault and Nissan’s positive experience.
“The Renault-Nissan Alliance knows how to work successfully in collaborative partnerships,” he said.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Ghosn said the modern car market demanded that manufacturers enter into these types of agreements.
“This industry is moving more and more towards increasing scale, and sharing innovation and investment,” he said.
“The name of the game is to be present everywhere. You have to be present in all of the emerging markets, and in every segment in those markets.”
“No small or medium car manufacturer can afford that.”
Based on 2009 sales figures, Renault-Nissan is the fourth-biggest car maker in the world, with annual sales of 6.1 million.
The bosses of the two groups also said they expected to see savings of about 2bn euros (£1.76bn, $2.68bn) as a result of the alliance over the first five years.
Sorce: BBC News