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Renault-Nissan and Mercedes get very cosy

Wed, 07 Apr 2010

The Mercedes Twingo? Almost, but not quite

In yet another – highly expected – sign that the future for car makers is more and more co-operation, Renault-Nissan and Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) have today announced a wide-ranging alliance which will see much of the output of each company utilised by the other.

Top of the list for starters is the joint development of the platform for the next SmartForTwo which will be shared by the next generation Twingo. The cost saving of going this route makes the Smart far more viable than it is. Frankly, without a deal of this sort Mercedes would probably have pulled the plug on the Smart. Interestingly, this will also make the next generation Twingo RWD.

Whilst we’re on the subject of platforms, Infiniti (Nissan’s luxury bolt-on) will get access to the underpinnings of the next generation A class which will form the basis for a BMW 1 Series/Audi A3 competitor, something Infiniti seriously needs to compete in Europe.

Engine-wise Mercedes are going to get access to Nissan’s small petrol and diesel units which will see service in the next generation A and B Class. Which will be a big improvement on the current engines. They will get ‘Mercedes-ified’ with different turbos and direct injection, but the basics will be Nissan.

On the return leg, Nissan are to get access to Mercedes 4 and 6 pot diesel and petrol engines for use – on the whole – in the Infiniti range. There will also be Nissan-Renault engines used in the Mercedes Vito van. There are also plans to jointly develop a future range of engines.

To cement the deal there’s some stock-swapping going on so they all – Nissan, Renault and Daimler – own a bit of each others companies (around 3.1%). There are also going to be lots of synergies going forward, especially with Nissan’s EV (electric car) stuff.

Sensible move.

By Cars UK