7 April 2010

The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG today announced a strategic cooperation focused on the small and compact car segment, sharing and co-development of diesel and gasoline engines, and collaboration in the field of light commercial vehicles. The two groups also announced an equity exchange that will give the Renault-Nissan Alliance a 3.1% stake in Daimler and Daimler a 3.1% in Renault and a 3.1% stake in Nissan.

The specific projects that will be implemented with “immediate effect” include:

  • New common architecture for small vehicles: The successor to the current smart fortwo, a new smart four-seater and a new Renault Twingo will be engineered on the basis of a jointly developed architecture. The launches of the jointly developed models are planned for 2013 onwards. The smart plant in Hambach, France will produce the twoseater versions, while the Renault plant in Novo Mesto, Slovenia will make the four-seater versions. Right from its market launch, the jointly developed future models will also be available with an electric drive.
  • Powertrains: The focus of the cooperation in the powertrain area is on sharing of diesel and gasoline engines between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler. Renault-Nissan will provide 3 and 4 cylinder gasoline and diesel engines out of its portfolio to Daimler, which will then be adapted for Mercedes’ lineup of premium compact cars. Daimler will provide 4 and 6 cylinder gasoline and diesel engines to Infiniti. Daimler, Renault and Nissan will also cooperate on future gasoline and diesel engines. The cooperation is expected to increase competitiveness of all partners through a substantial increase in volumes and cost sharing in development.
  • Collaboration on light commercial vehicles: Mercedes-Benz Vans will expand its portfolio to offer a new entry-level model, intended for commercial usage, from 2012. The technical basis of this van will come from Renault. It will be produced at the Renault plant in Maubeuge, France. In addition, selected powertrain components will also be shared including a small diesel engine and transmissions which Daimler will procure from Renault-Nissan for its mid-size van, the Mercedes-Benz Vito.

Both groups will also study potential future areas of cooperation, including opportunities in shared modules and components between Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz vehicles; regional cooperation in the United States, China and Japan; and co-development of electric vehicles and batteries.

The cooperation agreement includes an equity exchange based on the principle of a 3.1/3.1/3.1 percentage cross-holding between Renault, Nissan and Daimler. On April 6, the market capitalization of Renault, Nissan and Daimler were EUR 10.5 bn, EUR 29.7 bn and EUR 37.7 bn, respectively.

The strategic cooperation will be managed by Renault-Nissan B.V. for the Alliance and Daimler through a new cooperation committee co-chaired by Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault-Nissan Alliance, and Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler, and steered by senior executives of the three companies.

Source: Renault