Canadian Manufacturing

Renault-Nissan, Daimler forge ahead with cooperation plans

Automakers continuing to work together, with 12 joint ventures in European, Asian and North American markets



PARIS—Cooperation between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler AG continues to chug along, with the companies increasing their combined portfolio to 12 projects around the globe.

Speaking at an annual update at the Paris Motor Show, the companies’ chief executives said all projects remain on track, with the two sides collaborating on 12 ventures in Europe, Asia and North America.

The original agreement between them was limited to three projects with a focus on Europe when it was launched in 2010.

“The global scale of our projects ensures that this collaboration will continue to grow, and we expect to remain partners for the long run,” Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of both Renault and Nissan, said in the update.

“This partnership has accelerated the time-to-market for significant vehicle launches and has been an obvious strategic advantage for Renault and Nissan. We remain confident about our relationship for the foreseeable future.”

Initial projects under joint development by Renault-Nissan and Daimler include a rear-wheel drive platform that is used as the basis for the next-generation Renault Twingo subcompact, as well as a successor to the smart fortwo two-seater and an all-new forfour four-passenger variant.

The smart fortwo will be built at the German automaker’s plant in Hambach, France, while the Twingo and the four-seater smart are produced at Renault’s plant in Novo Mesto, Slovenia.

Also developed under the initial agreement were four jointly used engines—including two four-cylinder diesel powerplants from Renault and diesel and gas four-cylinders from Daimler—and a jointly developed three-cylinder gasoline engine, and a shared-platform small commercial van.

“Since its start in 2010, this cooperation has delivered what it has promised, and even more,” Daimler chair Dieter Zetsche said. “And that’s how we will continue to work together in the future—with joint projects that establish a win-win situation for all partners involved and create value for our customers worldwide.”

As the partnership expanded to 12 projects, the companies announced plans to jointly develop premium company vehicles that will be assembled in Mexico at a facility owned by both Renault-Nissan and Daimler, as well as engine production at a plant in Tennessee, which opened in June 2014.

The sides are also sharing transmission and fuel cell technology.

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