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April 7, 2010

Daimler AG and Renault-Nissan Alliance announce Strategic Cooperation


Renault Nissan

Nissan Daimler


Photo: April 07, 2010: Brussels, Belgium: Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault-Nissan Alliance and Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman and CEO of Daimler AG, at the joint press conference after signing the contract.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG have announced a broad strategic cooperation.

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.

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, said: "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."

"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 Dr. 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. We know that we can make brand-typical products based on shared architectures. The individual brand identities will remain unaffected."

Highlights of the Cooperation:

Following intensive and productive talks, specific projects have been agreed upon and will be implemented with immediate effect.

Renault Twingo


Photo: Renault Twingo 2010

New common architecture for small vehicles

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. 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.

The launches of the jointly developed models are planned for 2013 onwards. The smart plant in Hambach, France will be the production location for the two-seater versions, while the Renault plant in Novo Mesto, Slovenia will be the production location for the four-seater versions. Right from its market launch, the jointly developed future models will also be available with an electric drive.



Photo: 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class


The focus of the cooperation in the powertrain area is on the sharing of highly fuel-efficient, diesel and gasoline engines between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance will provide 3 and 4 cylinder gasoline and diesel engines out of its portfolio to Daimler, which will then be adapted and modified to reflect Mercedes' characteristics.

Daimler, Renault and Nissan will also cooperate on future gasoline and diesel engines.

A key objective is to increase competitiveness of all partners through a substantial increase in volumes, leading to economies of scale and cost sharing in development.

Collaboration on light commercial vehicles:

The companies have also agreed on a close cooperation in the light commercial vehicle segment. Mercedes-Benz Vans will expand its portfolio to offer an all-new entry-level, intended for commercial usage, from 2012 onwards. The technical basis of this van will come from Renault and will be produced at the Renault plant in Maubeuge, France. Both partners will benefit from higher unit sales, better capacity utilization, shared investment burden, resulting in a better overall cost basis.

Equity Exchanges:

This strategic cooperation is underscored through a one-time cross-shareholding structure which enables the three companies to exchange, benchmark and create synergies on the basis of a long-term mutually beneficial relationship. The overall construction of the deal is based on the principle of a 3.1/3.1/3.1 percentage cross-holding between Renault, Nissan and Daimler.


Further opportunities for collaboration:

Both groups intend to create a long-term framework to work closely on future areas of cooperation between Renault, Nissan and Daimler.



Photo: Nissan LEAF

Formed in 1999, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is the world's fourth largest automotive group. The Alliance is present in over 190 countries around the world. The Alliance is managed between two distinct and separate companies (Renault SA and Nissan Motor Company Ltd.), each with their own stock market listings (Paris and Tokyo respectively), Board of Directors and governance systems. During the past 11 years, the Alliance has formed strategic ventures with major companies including Dong Feng in China, AvtoVAZ in Russia and Mahindra, Ashok Leyland and Bajaj Auto in India. In late 2010, the Alliance will launch the Nissan LEAF, the world's first affordable all-electric car for the mass-market.

With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, Daimler AG is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world's biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. The company is listed on the stock exchanges of Frankfurt, New York and Stuttgart. The company's founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the automobile in the year 1886.

Sources: Renault SA, Nissan Motor Company Ltd., Daimler AG.


Our Opinion

"Stepping stone to small car specialization -- that's what this cooperation means to Daimler AG.

Renault is a small car specialist. Daimler is not.

And a quality affordable small car is the key to cracking the mass markets and remaining afloat."

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 12:53 PM | Link to this Post

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