Daimler, Nissan-Renault Officially Create Alliance

Daimler and Renault-Nissan began jointly developing a small car platform more than a year ago, but that strategic alliance was officially expanded today as the companies entered a long-term cooperative agreement this morning.

Key to the entire agreement is an exchange of shares in both companies. As was expected, each partner will invest in the other, and per the agreement, Daimler will receive 3.1-percent of Renault’s newly issued shares, and 3.1-percent of Nissan’s existing shares. Renault and Nissan are each taking a 1.55-percent stake in Daimler, while Renault is also picking up an extra 2 percent of Nissan’s shares.

As has been widely reported, the three companies are working together to develop the next-generation small car platform. Daimler has plans for a smart fortwo successor, along with a revived ForFour model. Renault will likely use the same platform to underpin the next-generation Twingo. The new models are set to launch in 2013, and will be available with electric-powered versions from launch.

Engine sharing will also be more extensive than previously imagined. Before, it was thought that the three brands were looking at cooperatively producing a small, fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine. It is now known that Renault-Nissan will provide Daimler with small three- and four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines that will be adopted to Mercedes-Benz models, and tuned to fit the brand’s character. On the other side of the engine deal, Daimler will supply Infiniti with four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. Like Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti will tune the Daimler supplied engines to fit Infiniti’s brand image.

The companies are also looking to cooperate on design and production of light-duty commercial vehicles. Mercedes-Benz will introduce an all-new entry level light-duty commercial van in 2012. The van will be based on one of Renault’s small vans, and will be built at Renault’s factory in Maubeuge, France. The alliance will also take advantage of the companies’ powertrains for mid-size commercial vans, as Daimler will begin offering a Renault-Nissan small diesel engine in the Mercedes-Benz Vito.

Source: Daimler, Nissan, Renault

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