Renault-Nissan, Daimler to Cooperate on Projects, Share Best Practices
BRUSSELS — The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG have teamed up for a wide-ranging partnership that will include the companies cooperating on a number of projects and sharing best practices.
Furthermore, the Renault-Nissan Alliance will take a 3.1-percent stake in Daimler. Meanwhile, Daimler will receive a 3.1-percent stake in Nissan and a 3.1-percent stake in Renault as part of an equity exchange between the companies.
Looking at some of the projects in more detail, the companies will work together on the next-generation smart fortwo and Renault Twingo, including electric models of these vehicles. They also plan to cooperate in growing the smart and Twingo "families."
"The successor to the current smart fortwo, a new smart four-seater and the next-generation Renault Twingo will be engineered on the basis of a jointly developed architecture," officials explained. "All vehicles will clearly differ from each other in terms of product design. One main characteristic of the new architecture will be the unique rear wheel drive concept used by current smart vehicles."
There will also be broad sharing of powertains between the two companies, who will also co-develop future projects with applications across both passenger car and light commercial vehicle segments.
The powertrain sharing will center on the two groups offering each other highly fuel-efficient, diesel and gasoline engines.
For instance, the companies plan to cooperatively build and share diesel and gasoline engines from Renault-Nissan. These engines will be used in the new smart and Twingo models, but also adapted and customized to fit Mercedes-Benz's new lineup of premium compact cars.
Also, Daimler will share its gasoline and diesel engines with Nissan's Infiniti division, and there will be "opportunity for future collaboration," as well, officials noted.
Moreover, Renault-Nissan will provide its diesel engine and transmission for the Mercedes-Benz Vito.
"This additional entry-level motorization will generate additional unit sales for Mercedes-Benz and optimized capacity utilization at Renault," the companies contend.
Continuing on, the two companies will work together when it comes to light-commercial vehicles, as well.
Explaining this in more detail, officials noted: "Mercedes-Benz Vans will expand its portfolio to offer an all-new entry-level, intended for commercial usage, from 2012 onwards."
Renault will head up the technical basis for the vehicle, which will be built at Renault's Maubeuge, France plant.
"Both partners will benefit from higher unit sales, better capacity utilization, shared investment burden, resulting in a better overall cost basis," they noted.
And there will be more "synergies" composed of select common purchasing opportunities, exchange of operational benchmarks and sharing of best practices.
"Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance are combining common interests to form a promising foundation for a successful, strategically sound cooperation that is based on a number of very concrete and attractive project cooperations," said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
"Our skills complement each other very well. Right away, we are strengthening our competitiveness in the small and compact car segment and are reducing our CO2 footprint — both on a long-term basis," he continued. "We know that we can make brand-typical products based on shared architectures. The individual brand identities will remain unaffected."
Offering his input, Carlos Ghosn, the chairman and chief executive officer of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, added: "The Renault-Nissan Alliance knows how to work successfully in collaborative partnerships, and this experience is extremely valuable in today's and even more tomorrow's global auto industry.
"This agreement will extend our strategic collaboration and create lasting value for the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler as we work on broadening and strengthening our product offering, efficiently utilizing all available resources and developing the innovative technologies required in the coming decade," Ghosn continued.
Moving on to offer details on the equity exchanges, officials explained that the principal of a 3.1/3.1/3.1 percentage cross-holding between Renault, Nissan and Daimler is the basis of the deal's overall construction. It will be done through a series of exchanges, which will go as follows, according to data provided by the companies:
—Daimler will get 3.1 percent of Renault's newly issued shares
—Daimler receives 3.1 percent of Nissan existing shares from Renault.
—Renault receives 3.1 percent of Daimler shares
—Renault had agreed independently to exchange 1.55 percent of Daimler with Nissan for 2 percent of Nissan shares.
—Renault and Nissan will each hold 1.55 percent of Daimler treasury shares.